This was a great choice of opening night film. Controversial, entertaining, socially and politically relevant, it had people in their seats in animated conversation after the film ended, continuing to the after-party. What more could you want?
Michael Moore is always good value - when he's good he’s good, and when he’s bad, he’s better. A buzz preceded the film and for good reason. No doubt the buzz will grow locally.
Ever since his 1989 debut with Roger and Me, continuing with his TV series The Awful Truth (which screened here some years ago on SBS) and his more recent Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 911,
The failings of the
The film starts off with a few case studies of individuals who have been denied cover by their health insurance companies.
Hilary Clinton put much effort into promoting a national health scheme in the early days of her husband’s presidency and was subjected to a massive demonisation program by the conservatives that basically killed the idea. “Terrible waiting lists”, “poor standards of health”, “lack of choice of doctor” were various doom and gloom predictions by the Republicans.
Much of the film is spent demonstrating how false this propaganda was.
There were many profound moments in the film:
- A young French man who had lived all his adult life in the US but found he had to move back to France when he was injured, in order to get medical treatment.
- A community of Americans living in France who couldn’t believe how good the health and social welfare system was compared to home (Moore suggests this may be why the US is quick to alienate or denigrate France). One woman was brought to tears when she described the guilt she feels for accepting the benefits that
provides. As someone with a strong attraction to France , this gave me even more reason to want to go there. France
- One of the most profound moments was when a group of 911 volunteer rescue workers travels with
Mooreto , and the reception they received from this so-called evil nation. It brought this writer to tears. Cuba
There are many details I’d like to relay, but I've got to race out the door for my next MIFF screening. Best you go see this excellent and timely film for yourself.
Sicko screened as part of MIFF's Documentaries. It screens again on Sat 4 August at 9.35pm at the Regent Theatre, and is being released nationally on 9 August.
Links: Opening Night pt.1 / Other MIFF-related posts / MIFF website