Published Jun 28, 2007Michael Moore is a director of questionable merit. He frequently resorts to unnecessary cheap shots and vague half-truths that damage his credibility even when his thesis is irrefutable. But no matter how you look at his latest film, Sicko, youll have to agree that hes right about one thing: health care in America is a disaster of biblical proportions.
The film is strongest in its early portions, when Moore interviews Americans who describe the rude shock of finding out their HMO can weasel out of covering them. It turns out the companies that turn away the most patients are the ones that make the most profits and thus gravely ill patients are routinely cheated out of treatments that could save their lives.
The parade of weeping loved ones mourning their dead and ex-HMO employees wrestling with their consciences are arguments enough and should make the most hardened capitalist run into the open arms of socialised medicine. Unfortunately, Moore cant leave it at that, so he runs off to Canada, Britain and France to waste time with anecdotal (and somewhat erroneous) evidence about the superiority of our/their health systems. None of these countries would trade what theyve got for the American nightmare but the sequence goes on too long and treats viewers like idiots.
The film runs out of gas by the time it makes queasy use of ailing 9/11 support workers, but those initial shots of shattered lives and broken hearts will stay with you long after youve forgotten Moores bad jokes and maudlin sentiments. And while a certain anti-Moore blogger will be horrified at one of the films revelations, at least he had his wifes health care when his insurance crapped out on him. (Alliance Atlantis)