With ‘Sicko’, as always, Moore takes a heavy subject but his way of getting his message across means that watching it is never hard going.
The film lambasts America’s healthcare system, giving examples of how the terrorists involved in 9/11 receive better healthcare than the volunteer workers on that date, and how people are allowed to die as long as it saves the system money. Being from the UK, it is a totally alien concept to me that someone should be refused healthcare because they cannot afford it. People may knock our NHS system, but the truth of the matter is that if someone collapses from a heart attack in the street, it doesn’t matter if they have any money, it doesn’t matter if they have a job or a home, it doesn’t even matter whether they are from the UK or not – they will receive the treatment they need. Moore also suggests that Americans are taught to dislike France and Cuba (for example), because the powers-that-be don’t want people finding out that healthcare is so much better in those countries. He says that Americans are taught that the Canadian healthcare system is bad for it’s citizens, to cover up the fact that actually, it hugely benefits it’s citizens.
The thing with Michael Moore is, I always feel that I am being emotionally manipulated by him when watching one of his movies, as he is SO one-sided, and doesn’t even attempt to give a balanced view. He’s pretty honest about this though, so as long as you bear that in mind, his movies are always worth a watch. He makes them interesting and entertaining, and more enjoyable than you might expect for such a heavy subject.
I am quite surprised that he got an Oscar nomination for this although I do think the nomination was just Hollywood’s way of saying that they are not threatened by him, but it’s just a token gesture.
Year of release: 2007
Director: Michael Moore
Writer: Michael Moore
Main cast: Michael Moore
(Author’s website can be found here.)