Monday, May 21, 2007

'Sicko' Preview and Rave Reviews

Watching this clip from Michael Moore's film -- Sicko -- brings back memories of the days when I lived in Canada, a country where people actually get something of enormous value in return for their taxes.

And not just health care. In Canada, I also had the comforting and exceedingly odd knowledge that when it came to looking after my family, I could trust the government to be on my side.

When I lived in Canada, 'social security' meant a lot more than a retirement check, and 'homeland security' meant a lot more than readiness for an attack. In a multitude of ways, the Canadian government behaved as if the well-being of my family was an important priority.

In America, the concept of a nurturing and trustworthy, or competent, government is damn near unimaginable.

"After the screening, several hard-nosed U.S. critics and journalists admitted to crying during the film." -- Anthony Kaufman, Wall Street Journal

"Brilliant and uplifting" -- Fox News

"Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has confirmed reports he is protecting Michael Moore's latest movie Sicko from U.S. authorities."

Washington Post: CANNES, France -- In Cannes, Michael Moore is a rock star _ mobbed by fans, assailed by cameras . . . Moore's documentary "Sicko" _ a ferocious attack on the U.S. health care industry _ is the talk of the film festival, and he is hot property. Moore caught his breath Monday to tell The Associated Press about the urgent need to reform America's health system, and why he thinks the Bush administration is out to get him.

Much of "Sicko" consists of moving testimony from Americans who have suffered at the hands of insurance companies, drug firms and HMOs. That includes a mother whose daughter died because the nearest hospital could not treat her, and a man who was told the cost of reattaching his two severed fingers would be $60,000 for the middle finger and $12,000 for the ring finger.

Several interview subjects died before the film was completed.

"It was pretty somber working on this film," Moore said. "We just kept thinking, the only reason this person is dying is because they hold American citizenship. If they lived in Canada or Britain or France, they'd have a chance."