Saturday, September 19, 2015

TIFF 2015: No Men Beyond This Point and Where To Invade Next

On Friday I saw a mockumentary and a documentary, and so I'm reviewing the two together to explore the common theme.

No Men Beyond This Point is the mockumentary, chronicling the evolution of the human species that began with thousands of claims of fatherless births in the 1950s, followed by the decline in births of male children after that. By present day, women have taken over all of society, with most of the remaining men being restricted to sanctuaries to live out the rest of their lives. With women in charge there is no war, all the countries of the world have united, religion has been supplanted by a reverence for Nature, most diseases have been conquered and there is no internet (which started as a defense project). The film focuses on 37-year old Andrew (Patrick Gilmore), the youngest man in the world, who works as a nanny and housekeeper for Iris and Terra, a couple raising their several daughters. Iris and Andrew develop feelings for each other, which is a scandal in a world without sex or intimacy of any kind.

The film provides an entertaining view of gender politics, poking fun at both men and women (mostly men though), and also shows us the struggle for marriage equality through a very different lens. It's a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the role of the leader of the Men's Liberation Organization (MLO).

Where To Invade Next is Michael Moore's latest documentary, in which he travels to several countries to "invade" them and capture ideas they have put into practice that could, in the words of Donald Trump, make America great again. We see how working less and taking more vacations can make workers productive and business owners happy, the impact of free university and gourmet food in school cafeterias. Much of it is just played for laughs, but there are some profound and touching moments throughout. Moore's point is that there are some simple things - often counter-intuitive, that could make life better in the USA, and many of the ideas are of American origin.

No Men Beyond This Point shows us what an alternate world could be like if one big thing beyond our control was changed. Where To Invade Next shows us what the real world is like when we change a few small things that are entirely ours to determine. Both are entertaining films that provoke some deeper thoughts.

TIFF Overview

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