Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next

As teased earlier this summer, Michael Moore is back this fall with Where to Go Next, his first documentary since 2009’s Capitalism: A Love Story. Based on that title, you might assume, quite reasonably, that the film is about America’s neverending cycle of war. Instead, Moore travels the globe to consider how the American Dream could be improved by implementing successful policies from abroad. Watch the Where to Invade Next teaser after the jump.

Here’s the Where to Invade Next teaser from YouTube.

The Where to Invade Next teaser is cute, but doesn’t do a great job of explaining the conceit. Moore pretends he’s been called upon by the government to find other countries for the U.S. to conquer. He goes around the world looking for ideas to steal. In Slovenia he discovers free college education; in Italy he discovers citizens get several weeks of paid leave; in Finland he learns about the country’s reformed school system; and so on.

It’s a sunnier approach than we’re used to seeing from Moore, and at the film’s TIFF premiere he referred to it as “Mike’s Happy Movie.” “You don’t need another documentary to tell you  how fucked up this or that thing is,” he said. “We need to get up off our asses and do something , and get inspired by what we can be.”

Where to Invade Next doesn’t yet have a theatrical release date, but with the attention it’s getting at TIFF it shouldn’t be long before someone scoops it up and rolls it out. Here’s the TIFF description:

Michael Moore understands the art of provocation. From Roger & Me to Bowling for Columbine to Fahrenheit 9/??11, he’s been ahead of the cultural curve with films that galvanized audiences and escalated box-office records.

Now, six years since his last film and with another US election around the corner, he delivers a fresh surprise that feels current yet perfectly timeless. Filming abroad without drawing attention from American media, Moore reunites his A-team, including producers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin (directors of the Oscar-nominated Trouble the Water), and brings us a funny and provocative work that’s guaranteed to stir up conversation.

The United States’ long history of invading countries and pushing agendas has produced results that are, to say the least, mixed. What if the US could do a better job at invading? That’s the premise for this film, which sends Moore on an epic journey.

Americans may be known as talkers, but Moore actually listens and he’s a magnet for memorable characters. Their dialogues are revelatory, poignant, and hilarious. The film builds momentum toward a culmination that resonates with hard-earned hope.

In the break since his previous film, 2009’s Capitalism: A Love Story, Moore has nurtured his cinematic passions as co-founder of the Traverse City Film Festival and a champion of other directors. Whatever else he’s been doing in that time, it has had a restorative effect on his filmmaking. Where to Invade Next conveys a sense that he’s been saving up his energies to create something really special. Rather than following the predictable motions of partisan politics, he reframes the conversation around hot-button issues in a highly entertaining and subversive way.

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