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vastleft's picture

Tonight, I caught a sneak preview of Michael Moore's Sicko, and I found it hard to stay in my seat. I kept wanting to give it a standing ovation well before it was over.

It's two hours that genuinely could change America.

The case he makes for universal health care is overwhelming. If Colin Powell's UN pitch were this compelling, I'd be in Iraq right now still digging for those WMDs.

Enterprising travel agents should stand outside the theater and book health-care tours to any of the zillion other nations that provide free, high-quality medical services. It's simply impossible to watch this movie without getting itchy in your passport pocket.

I always enjoy Moore's movies and TV work but sometimes with nagging reservations about the occasional facile move that detracts a little from his worthy and entertainingly presented points. I never got any such queasy feeling this time around.

One could carp that he didn't provide a forum for industry spokespeople to make their case, but as he's argued they have their own bought-and-paid-for forum, known as "the Capitol."

The industry powerhouses will no doubt deny Moore's claims (if there's one thing they're good at, it's denying claims). And perhaps they'll find a minor false step or two.

But I'm not sure they can put this genie back in the bottle.

What Moore does is take an essential issue off the scrapheap and puts it in terms any American can not just appreciate but get angry and energized about.

After quickly diagnosing the cruel reality of the uninsured, he turns his major focus to holes in the safety net for Americans who have health insurance.

Rather than spoil any of it, I'll simply urge you to see this movie, and bring your winger friends to what Fox News calls "Filmmaker Michael Moore's brilliant and uplifting new documentary."

My favorite health-care fact, which isn't in the movie per se, is this: a few years ago, every industrialized nation but two had national health care — South Africa and the United States. Then South Africa got it. Perhaps Michael Moore has found a way to urge us into catching up to such progressive betters.

Wide release on June 29th. Be there.

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leah's picture
Submitted by leah on

Starting with the title.

Hey, once it opens, why don't you do a real review, vastleft. Moore simply gets no respect as a filmmaker; he's much better at it, and getting better and better, than most critics seem able to admit. In part, this is due to the appalling lack of knowledge about arts and letters on the part of our journalistic establishment; no one has ever told them that documentaries are not the same as reportage, or a news story, or that one of the seminal masterpieces of the genre, "Nanook of the North," had long sequences that were "staged." Their value was contained in their "truth," not whether or not the action was caught by a fly with a camera on the wall of an igloo.