Michael Moore's latest satiric film, Where to Invade Next, travels to Finland and Tunisia among other places with a central conceit: Countries most Americans wouldn't imagine to be so advanced are doing some things better than we are, so why not learn from them, and get our shit together?
In a time of presidential hopefuls, many spouting promises they can barely articulate, Michael Moore has a clear plan for correcting many of our ills, like not encumbering our young people with crippling debt as they graduate from college. Like feeding our children in elementary school with lunch plans that teach the etiquette of sitting at the dinner table, as well as what foods are truly healthy. Other countries practice these programs as a matter of course, and maybe we did too, before our highest ideals got hijacked. Case in point, people of my generation got an education for free. Remember those days? It is easy to ponder penciling Michael Moore in for president, but he wouldn't want the job. He's having too much fun making movies that make people laugh.
Late into the night at his movie premiere Michael Moore relaxed at a center table at Shun Lee, greeting a New York world of documentary filmmakers: Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker, Barbara Kopple, Jehane Noujaim, Laura Poitras and many others celebrating his new film. Maybe his investigative instincts take over, but he fixes them with questions about what they are doing next, even as the evening's focus is on him. The funny/serious man mock bemoans a cutting glitch realized after his film opened the Toronto Film Festival: as a stand up comic might hone his routine, he had to open the film up to allow more time for laughs, so that they didn't step on the next line. "It's a very good problem to have," he laughs.
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