American film director Michael Moore visits Norway in his latest film. Photo: nicolas genuine/Flickr
Controversial American director Michael Moore visited Norway and a handful of other European countries for his film 'Where to Invade Next', which hits Norwegian theatres on Friday.
In Moore's new film, he "searches the world for answers" to some of the problems faced by the United States.
The movie is Moore’s first in years following the release of successful films like 'Sicko', 'Bowling for Columbine' and 'Fahrenheit 9/11'. In 'Where to Invade Next', which was released for American audiences at the end of 2015, the director visits France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Iceland, Finland and Norway.
During the Norwegian part of the film Moore highlights the national prison system, something that has caused plenty of interest worldwide with articles in Vice
, The New York Times
, The Guardian
, the BBC
, among others.
The trailer for the film shows Moore speaking with a Norwegian inmate at the Bastøy low-security prison.
"You're in prison for murder," the director says.
"Yeah," answers the inmate.
"Right behind you are some very sharp knives," Moore responds incredulously.
Norway’s prison system has long drawn interest from abroad, particularly after the imprisonment of Anders Behring Breivik, who committed the nation's worst atrocity in modern times by killing 77 people in 2011.
Halden Prison, where the mass murderer was initially held, was described as “modern, cheerful, and alien for an American” by the New York Times and the "most humane" prison in the world by Time Magazine.
The domestic terrorist, however, has complained that his conditions in Halden and the Skien Prison, where he is now held, amount to "torture" and has sued the state. Among his 'torturous' conditions are drinking cold coffee and eating frozen meals heated in a microwave -- a fate he described as "worse than waterboarding".
Even Breivik, the nation's most notorious criminal, has prison conditions that are far more generous than what is allowed for the typical inmate in the US prison system.
He has access to three cells -- one for living, one for studying and a third for physical exercise -- as well as a television, a computer without Internet access, a games console, books and newspapers, and puzzles. He is able to prepare his own food and do his own laundry.
'Where to Invade Next' opens in Norway on Friday. You can check out the trailer here:
Moore also visited Norway when creating his film 'Sicko' about the US health system. The Norway segment was ultimately dropped because the nation's high standard of living was "so scary I couldn't put it in the film", as the filmmaker put it.
Then too he visited Bastøy and called it a model for the "prison of the future".
That footage can be seen here: