Sicko

Documentary film written and directed by Micahel Moore.
Running Time: 113 minutes
Rated: Rated PG (mild themes, mild coarse language).

Michael Moore may not be a White House favourite, but he certainly is at Cannes.

To criticise him as partisan is not really relevant. Being partisan is the point. Moore has the talent to be both serious and funny in his polemic. He offers anecdotal evidence in moving stories, interviews and telling television footage of targeted politicians and business leaders.

He is on surer ground in Sicko. Any visitor to the US knows that they must not get sick there without insurance as ill-health and hospital cost the earth. Moore wants to show that the US health insurance system can be detrimental to sick Americans with its policy of scrutinising contracts to avoid payouts - sometimes with dire results.

Moore visits Canada, the UK and France (very flattering to France!) to examine how the national health schemes work well (despite local complaints). He also takes a group of 'victims' of the US policy to Cuba because of propaganda about the good health conditions of Guantanomo Bay prisoners. They are well received and helped by the friendly Cubans.

He may be annoying or intrusive, but America needs Michael Moore and his films.

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

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