I remember trying to rent Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Colombine” at a video store here in Holyoke, and the clerk told us that they wouldn’t carry the movie. It was censorship, and too bad for them, since they’ve gone out of business, like many other video stores.
Tonight through the magic of NetFlix, we rented his latest film, “Sicko” and it was poignant and very well crafted. I felt in the past with ‘Bowling,” and ’9/11′ that he is a snarky, knee-jerk kind of liberal who throws together lots of footage to try to hit you over the head to make his point.
But with this film, he simply shows the viewer what’s out there, and contrasts it with our health care system. Seeing the ease with which patients get care in France, the UK, Canada and in Cuba makes me wonder…like many people I’m sure, what is wrong with us here?
I was actually jealous of the lives depicted in the movie, especially when he interviews a bunch of expats in a French cafe. Combine five to six weeks of paid vacation, free university, free medical care, unlimited sick days, and a longer life expectancy with the beauty and sensuality of France, and by God, it makes me wonder what I am doing here. Well at least I am going to France in a few weeks, if only for a week-long trip. But it seems that the French and many other people just have better priorities than we do. If that means fewer super-rich health executives and doctors, well that’s good!
But the story of people who battle the HMOs and the bureaucrats were told simply, mostly in the sufferer’s own words, and this made the film really work. And when Moore sends a check for $12,000 to help out a guy who runs an anti-Michael Moore website with his wife’s medical bills, that made me realize that this guy is fighting for a just and right cause, and the bombastic approach of his other films has given way to a more human approach. And I hope that people see this film and like the French, make their voices heard.