Sunday, May 20, 2007

Overhyped, overblown, overweight...

...or maybe not. I had planned to say "he" was the Sicko but I've changed my mind completely...except for the overweight bit. Michael Moore's new film "Sicko" has received a lot of attention at this years Cannes Film Festival - overhyped and overblown, I thought - even though he won the Palme d'Or (Cannes in 2004 for Fahrenheit 9/11) and an Oscar in 2002 (Bowling for Columbine) I'm not exactly a Moore fan and so was ready to slag off him and the new film; anyway who would want to see a film about a health service, the NHS for instance? but it "has become one of the most talked-about productions at the Cannes Film Festival." [BBC LINK]

All the reviews so far seem very positive. "Employing his trademark personal narration and David vs. Goliath approach, Moore enlivens what is, in essence, a depressing subject by wrapping it in irony and injecting levity wherever possible: a graph shows America's position in global health care as No. 38 — just above Slovenia — and is followed by film footage of primitive operating conditions; and he offers a long list of health conditions that can deny a person insurance coverage, with the list scrolling into deep space accompanied by the "Stars Wars" theme."...OK that's from 'his own website'! ;-)

Fox News reports Moore's maturity in leaving the confrontations behind and letting the facts 'do the talking'; CNN tells of the 'healthy praise' for "Sicko"...Applause for exposing the 'dark side' of the US health system and its powerful insurance lobby (ABC Oz). A quaint subpoint, the Daily Telegraph, apart from mentioning that MM praises the NHS and that the idea of the film was to compare various health systems, had this to say:
"In the film, he also sends a 12,000 US dollar (£6,079) cheque anonymously to one of the authors of an anti-Michael Moore website, after the website closes down because the man cannot afford to run it while paying for his wife's medical bills. Moore said he was going to phone the man, who put his site back online after getting the money, to tell him he sent the cheque, today."
Love it! As far as I can see, the only part of the film that will cause controversy (unless you're a US Health Insurance employee) is that they went to Cuba (embargoed & no permits for US citizens) ...apparently the point was not to go their to ruffle feathers but to get treatment at Guantanamo Bay, taking ill 9/11 rescue workers to receive the same healthcare that the US alledgedly give to al-Qaeda detainees; the U.S. government had boasted of the excellent medical care it provides terror suspects detained at Guantanamo..."So Moore decided that the 9/11 workers and a few other patients, all of whom had serious trouble paying for care at home, should have the same chance. Moore hopes his latest film will make people stop and think about what he sees as the tragic ills of the health care industry. [Guardian] By Jocelyn Noveck (AP)
"We are the richest country in the world,'' the director said. "We spend more on health care than any other country. Yet we have the worst health care in the Western world. Come on. We can do better than this.''
Something to unite rather than divide the critics? ...could be; the first MM film I actually want to see. I hope I'm not boring you!


David Wozney said...

Re: “... a 12,000 US dollar (£6,079) cheque ...

A “Federal Reserve Note” is not a U.S.A. dollar. In 1973, Public Law 93-110 defined the U.S.A. dollar as consisting of 1/42.2222 fine troy ounces of gold.

Span Ows said...

Thanks David - interesting link too re Queen/Crown being Sovereign etc...and the moon landings...still lots of expalining to do!