Sicko (12)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/10/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 123 mins

Entertaining, informative and frequently incendiary documentary, told in Moore's inimitable style, mixing humour, personal stories, on-camera publicity stunts and good old fashioned journalistic research to devastating effect.

What's it all about?
Michael Moore's follow-up to Fahrenheit 911 takes aim at the pitiful state of the US healthcare industry, where some 50 million Americans are without health insurance and around 18,000 die every year as a direct result. As if this wasn't bad enough, the insurance companies are continually finding new loopholes in an attempt to save money by denying policy-holders coverage wherever possible.

Moore conducts interviews with people who relate their heart-rending healthcare horror stories, before examining the origin of the current system (basically, it's all Nixon's fault for creating HMOs in the 1970s) that has turned healthcare from a public service into a profit-oriented, multi-million dollar business. He then pops over to the UK, Canada and France for some illuminating comparisons before embarking on the film's set-piece, in which he takes a boatload of sick 9/11 workers to Cuba, where they receive the free, efficient healthcare that they've been denied in the U.S.

The Good
Though the statistics and personal stories are often horrifying, it's to Moore's credit that the film isn't all doom and gloom. Highlights include an amusing interview with our very own Tony Benn, Moore's over-egged but no less effective trip round a London hospital (where he constantly asks how much everything is) and the aforementioned Cuba trip, where Moore points out the irony that detainees in Guantanamo Bay receive better healthcare than 9/11 volunteers.

The film's most depressing revelations come with the illustration of how the healthcare companies have bought their way into government, meaning that the system is unlikely to change anytime soon.

The Bad
To be fair, the film does drag a little in the middle and the sequence with Moore sitting round a table discussing healthcare with some smug ex-pat Americans could probably have been cut out.

Worth seeing?
In short, Sicko is important film that demands to be seen. Frankly, if you're an American, there's grounds for revolution here. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Sicko (12)
Sicko has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 00:03

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