Good film but…
That’s the way it always is with Michael Moore. I’m always entertained. I always laugh. And I always get angry.
But then there’s the proverbial “but.”
Moore is a master of emotional manipulation, and this is not necessarily a knock. We need guys like this to irritate, prod and fully expose the greedy power brokers who exploit, lie and rig the system to steal. He effectively raises the issues to raise hackles.
But you have to go in knowing that Moore, just like the people who hate him so much, is not going to stray from the message. Moore is not in the objectivity business. His game is hyperbole.
He’s got his theme and he’s sticking to it, and he uses all the tricks of his trade to pile on. Funny outakes from a deplorably inarticulate George Bush, inserts from old silent comedies, creative graphics and sobbing victims are all signature weapons in the Moore arsenal.
This isn’t Frontline. What Moore is presenting is opinion mixed with facts as seen from the perspective of someone who grew up in a union household in a depressed Michigan town and was raised on Charlie Chaplin, Looney Tunes, Frank Zappa, etc.
I saw “Sicko” at the Bronxville movie theater. It cost 10 bucks a ticket, which tells you how expensive ticket prices have become– though nothing is going through the roof like health care insurance and college tuition.
I liked “Sicko” but if you haven’t seen it, here’s some caveats going in:
— Moore makes a big deal about how successful socialized medicine is in countries like France and England. He gives no downside to this. No mention is given to how high our taxes would have to rise to do the same thing in this country, nor is there any counter-balance tales of horror about the quality of health care in those countries. Is it really that great in England?
— Moore says that free health care in those countries is an outgrowth of the fact that the people don’t fear government. Government fears the people. In the U.S., he says, it’s the opposite. Seems simplistic to me. Especially when you consider how many paralyzing public strikes go on in England and how France is petrified of its growing immigrant population. In his film, Moore shows hordes of people in France and England protesting in the streets to, I guess, get the point across. But it looks like anarchy to me.
— Moore goes to Cuba with some ailing 9-11 rescue workers, who desperately need care. He presents a positively Utopian health care system in the land of Castro.
Red flags should immediately go up on this one…pun not intended. Reading between the sprockets, I smelled the propagandistic hand of Fidel, or whoever is running things in Cuba these days. You just know that the Americans got the red-carpet treatment per orders of the highest governmental authority. Who does Moore think he’s kidding here?
— Give Moore credit on at least one thing. He slaps Hillary Clinton by pointing out that she’s the second larget recipient of campaign contributions from the health insurance industry, behind only Rick Santorum.
— One more thing about Moore. He’s fat, real fat. Tellingly, there is no mention in his film about obesity in America and how that’s effecting the rising cost of health care.
Despite these reservations, go see “Sicko.”