The Barbarian Invasions

I watched The Barbarian Invasions last night, and I've got to say that it may be the most libertarian film I've ever seen. The “sensual socialist” father, a former college professor, is warehoused in a crowded hospital that is falling apart in Montreal. He is afforded a decent death only by his rich, capitalist son, whose love and compassion, because of his means, is not limited to earnest good intentions. The film is a damning idictment of socialized medicine, sixties radical intellectuals (“Existentialism; Marxist-Leninism; Maoism; Deconstructionism. Is there an 'ism' we did not worship? Cretinism.”) and, among other things, drug prohibition. The father dies in dignity through the judicious use of heroin and assisted suicide. It was, at points, a bit much. But, otherwise, it was moving, human, and genuinely insightful in the way that movies almost never are.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center