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September 3, 2007 | by  | in Film | [ssba]


This film is a real step towards Michael Moore’s former greatness. While Sicko does not come close to being as good as Roger and Me, it does represent a massive step up from the incoherent Fahrenheit 9/11. His return to form comes from his return to actually having a point to make, which is that free market and profit are completely incompatible with providing health care.

The film starts off showing how completely screwy you are if you do not have health insurance (18,000 preventable deaths each year). Then it moves on to how, even if you have health insurance, you are not in a much better situation anyway. We hear horror story after horror story of people who pay for insurance get sick and the company doing everything in its immense power to cut costs and refuse a payout. No matter what you think of Moore’s political views, these often-fatal tragedies will have an emotional impact. Moore then takes us on a journey to Canada, France and Britain looking at those countries’ universal free health care systems. The final part of Sicko looks at how not only are the people at the bottom of the system doomed to go without medical treatment, but also people we proclaim as heroes, such as 9/11 rescue workers. The government and insurance companies provided them with so little help when they suffered illnesses while working at ground zero. This is contrasted with the help they get when Moore takes them to one of America greatest enemies, Cuba.

Yet this film does have its weaknesses – Moore’s ever-present self-indulgence, and the high praise for the other universal free health care systems is way over the top (but I guess anything seems great compared to the US system).



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