But the art of Moore’s political comedy has really taken a turn this election cycle. During the primary season, Moore released what I consider to be the most important film of his career: “Where to Invade Next,” which thinks deeply about how we can improve our nation by adopting the practices of a series of other countries that get it right. Turning the practice of U.S. military invasions on its head, Moore’s “invasion” strategy is to steal good ideas and bring them back to the United States. While Moore had spent most of his career exposing corruption, deception, abuse and exploitation, this film took a completely different angle. Rather than expose the negative and ugly, it celebrated the possible. While just as hilarious as his other films, “Where to Invade Next” delved into the failures caused by American exceptionalism and imagined ways our nation could come together and enact positive social change.
It is this side of Moore that we have to keep in mind in order to fully understand “Michael Moore in TrumpLand.” Rather than viciously attack Trump and praise Clinton, the film takes an entirely different tack: it begins by showing respect for Trump supporters, by understanding their rage, and by acknowledging their views — including their hatred of Hillary Clinton.
Even if that angle had been the sole contribution made by this film, it would have been a revelation. This election has not just been a mud-slinging contest between candidates; Trump supporters have also been viciously attacked as stupid bigots filled with hate. The marquee of the theater where Moore is performing proclaims “Trump supporters are welcome.” Moore stays true to the invitation: he really does welcome them.