Thursday, 01 October 2020
Wednesday, 18 July 2007 00:00
Sicko makes me even prouder to be Canadian. Even in a time of war; a time when our entertainment, and more importantly our government seem to emulate the United States more and more; a time when we aren’t always so sure what being a Canadian means anymore; this movie serves as a nice refresher course. And the kicker is, it’s not even about us!

Michael Moore’s latest sensationalist documentary explores the ups and downs (mostly the downs) of the American healthcare system. His heavily opined hand paints us a picture of a wealthy nation that can’t even take care of its own people. Where a privileged few profit off the misfortunes of others. But no matter how depressing his subject matter there isn’t a dull moment in a Michael Moore film.

In his characteristic brash style, Moore uncovers dozens of real life tales of woe and puts a human face on the issue. A man who had to choose which finger he wanted reattached because he couldn’t afford the bill for both; a woman denied insurance coverage because she had once had a yeast infection; dozens of personal horror stories told by some very engaging folks.

You can tell Moore is still caught up in the residue of his last film Farenheit 911, because the brunt of his efforts in Sicko are intent on the troubles of volunteer rescue workers that have suffered greatly for their efforts. He talks with several of these men and women, now suffering from lung problems or night terrors, and finds out how the system failed them. He barrages us with the idea that terrorist prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have better health care than the rescue workers – so what does he do? In typical theatrical Moore fashion he loads them all into boats and takes them to the prison to demand they receive medical attention. Well, that doesn’t quite work out, so they head to Cuba where they get nothing but the best of care, all for zero dollars. I’m pretty sure the fact that cameras were rolling had something to do with this, but regardless of tactics those people got help. And the fact that Cuba did the helping is a nice slap in the face for the US government. After all with friends like these who needs enemies?

During his adventures Moore travels to Canada and makes our system look pretty damn beautiful. His travels in Europe reveal much of the same, exposing systems where the coverage is entirely free and the people seem to mock the stories he brings from the US.

Although I am thankful for our good old Canadian healthcare system, it isn’t what it once was. You could even say that our healthcare system is ailing. Either way, it is in need of some serious reconstructive surgery. Sicko lets us see just what privatized healthcare will get us, and it isn’t pretty. Let this serve as a warning for Canadians to wake up and start telling our government just what we want done with all those tax dollars.

Sicko is a very entertaining way to get people talking about important issues. Although some of his tactics are questionable, Michael Moore cranks out another winner. I give Sicko 8 out of 10 stars.