Michael Moore’s European Vacation


In the documentary “Where To Invade Next” Michael Moore channels at least three of this election cycle’s presidential candidates with his Trump-style bluster, Sanders-type slogans and Christie-like girth.

mmThe last, size, matters only because the veteran liberal provocateur has been the face of his films from the very first and now at the risk of judging a book by its cover looks frail and unhealthy.

That said the globetrotting Moore gamely takes a European vacation and cooks up a revealing and entertaining recipe for ways to make America great again.

The ideas are right out of Bernie Sanders’ playbook; universal health care, workers and women’s rights, prison reform and free eduction.

  • He finds;

Italian workers with eight weeks of paid vacation, paid maternity leave and two-hour lunches; French school cafeterias with hour-long gourmet lunches where  students learn nutrition and behavior; that it is “essentially free” to go college in many countries and US students who cannot afford school here go to college in, for instance, Slovenia;

  • Germans work a 36 hour week and with universal health care can get a three-week stay at a spa if stressed; Portugal does not arrest drug users; Norway, where the longest prison sentence is 21 years, even for murder, favors rehabilitation over punishment; the Tunisian constitution protects women’s rights and abortion is part of family planning; and in Iceland women hold half the seats on corporate boards and in parliament.

The rumpled Moore, wearing his trademark Detroit Tigers cap, jokingly plants an American flag in each country, claiming their ideas for the US.

“If they can do it,” he says, “surely we can too.”

But in fact, each idea explored was born, he reveals, in America. His choices seem selective, as usual, and he inserts brutal scenes of racial and political unrest here by way of unflattering comparison.

Yet this, his first film in six years, is his least strident and most optimistic and emotionally accessible film ever.

Now, its time for the Michigan native to make a film about the Flint water crisis.

*** Three stars

Produced by Carl Deal, Tia Lessin, Michael Moore. Written and directed by Michael Moore.

Approximate running time: 119 minutes.

Rated R; language, violent images, brief nudity.3




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