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Rather than his usual M.O. of attacking greedy C.E.O.s and corrupt politicians, documentary polemicist Michael Moore turns his cameras on America’s sick and mistreated, and on analoguous medical patients abroad. The result is not an indictment of corporations or the political system, but of Americans themselves, for letting this all happen. Shame on us.

There have been several reviews that say that Moore doesn’t offer any solutions. Those reviews are wrong. He strongly suggests that the reason the French have great medical care and other benefits is that they are willing to take to the streets in protest. The government is scared of the people, not the other way around. Go democracy! An interview with an old Labour party member hints that one percent of the world’s population controlling 80% of the wealth is a large magnitude injustice. Class warfare, anyone?

This is not the tame movie that it has been billed to be. It’s a rather radical document, and we haven’t even gotten to the Cuba trip.

Continue reading about Sicko (major spoilers)…

Skip to Die Hard…When Moore takes a group of ailing, 9/11 rescue workers to Guantanamo Bay, the one place on U.S. soil that has free universal health care, it’s clearly a stunt and a goof. After that, though, when the workers receive free care from the Cuban government, it’s hard not to believe it isn’t a set-up, with Castro scoring propaganda points. Maybe every Cuban gets the same medical treatment that these people get. But they don’t all get treated by a Gael Garcia Bernal look-alike.

There’s something of the gadfly about Michael Moore. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he is a modern Socrates, but he has definitely mastered the incredulous inquisition. “Gee whiz, if they can do this well in Cuba, why can’t America?” You know there are questions he’s not asking, but you’d like to hear the answers to the one he did ask first. Moore makes his movies more entertaining by such omissions, but he doesn’t make his arguments stronger. To me, it’s a matter of taste. It’s not how I would do it, but it doesn’t make his ultimate conclusions wrong. In a sense, he puts his artistry where his mouth is — if Americans really are persuaded by fear, the medical insurance horror stories Moore helps to tell might really propel some much needed change.

Or, you can hate Michael Moore really vocally, and get your health insurance paid for.

Live Free or Die Hard

Don’t bother.

See Sicko instead.

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