Director: Michael Moore
Running time: 123 minutes
Synopsis and Evaluation
I love documentaries. Although I’m not an avid or regular viewer of documentary shows/films, if there’s an opportunity to view one I always make it a point to watch it. I’m easily engaged by these documentaries because more often that not, they tackle pressing issues that have broad national or worldwide scope.
These documentaries articulate to viewers the different slices or facets of our current society. Commonly, they expose certain malice present in our society — the harsh and sappy truths that deserve some attention to be able to correct it before it’s too late. There’s nothing more depressing and eye-opening than seeing and hearing it from, they like to say, horses’ mouth — the people involved and directly affected by the particular issue at hand. It’s like telling you how fortunate you are compared to these poor souls being depicted on television/film.
I’m a selective movie viewer. I don’t just watch every movie they throw out there. I value my money and time to just simply throw them away for a horrible movie although being duped sometimes is inevitable. When I heard Sicko, a documentary film about the health care industry (not system, because it is an industry) directed by Michael Moore, I know this is something I should not miss. Why? This is because it’s relevant to our present times right now with the growing lack of attention given to this particular aspect of our society. It’s also scary that America, the wealthiest, most powerful nation has problems with their health care industry.
Or is it that very wealth and power which strike their health care industry hard?
From this premise, Moore went on to interview those stricken with the catastrophe of being left out or forsaken by the hospitals, insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMO) these people need the most. In times of trouble with our health, we go to these institutions to seek help to cure us. But alas, they run away from their obligations to provide health care. It’s not as if they’re asked to do this for free. These people paid premiums for their insurance and health care coverage to receive assistance in times of sickness. These forms of assistance are deemed losses by these institutions. Losses. It’s an accounting term used for events such as obsolescence of inventory, worthlessness of an investment or selling a piece of asset below its book/accounting value. These institutions reduce these poor souls to a mere accounting term. Oh my gulay! What money can’t do, eh?
Moore also drew comparisons to the health care systems of Cuba, France, Great Britain and Canada where these countries supposedly have a system better than the US. In fact, US ranked only 37th among all nations when it comes to providing adequate health care to its citizens.
The Final Word
A documentary that is supposedly exaggerated and full of concocted claims? Ironic. Wrong. But it’s not as ironic or as wrong as the fact that the US, the wealthiest and most powerful nation, is lagging behind a plethora of other nations in terms of health care. They have trillions of dollars to spend to finance their war agendum. Why not use that for health care where the problem really exists and conspicuous instead of alleged claims of destructive weapons and terrorism. One has to wonder if America is really an avenue to reach one’s dreams.
This documentary may be filled with exaggerations or one-sided jabs and comments but it does not mean that a problem doesn’t exist. In fact, this is a documentary that does not need to present the entire truth to convey and accentuate the reeking stench that is the US health care industry. Nor it should be balanced to comply with the unspoken or unwritten rules of making a documentary. A documentary is supposed to communicate something, to expose something, to open the eyes of the general public. Moore’s agenda is irrelevant to assessing the worth of this film. We must admit that there’s something really wrong not just in the health care system but in our whole society (not just in the US) where money is really above everything else.