Sunday 8 December 2019

Michael Moore forced to cancel appearance at Berlin International Film Festival due to pneumonia

Film-maker Michael Moore
Film-maker Michael Moore

Eleanor Bay Griffiths

Michael Moore has been forced to cancel his trip to the Berlin International Film Festival after suffering from pneumonia.

Earlier this month, the film-maker told his Facebook followers that "things didn't look good" when he was admitted to an intensive care unit in New York on January 31.

Though he said he was "doing much better" and would be allowed to return home on February 5, Moore had to take time off from his promotional tour for his new film, cancelling appearances on Conan O'Brien and Bill Maher's talk shows.

A spokesman said: "It is with regret that Michael Moore has had to cancel his trip to the Berlin International Film Festival due to his recent hospitalisation with pneumonia.

"Michael is now recovering and had been greatly looking forward to attending Berlinale and presenting the European premiere of Where To Invade Next, and would like to extend his continued thanks to his fans for their ongoing support of the project.

"He is especially grateful to the German people who figure so prominently in his movie. He is truly sad not to be able to be here and share this moment with them."

The Berlin International Film Festival is already under way, taking place from February 11 to 21.

Where To Invade Next is the Fahrenheit 9/11 director's first film in six years. The movie is in the style of a travelogue as Moore investigates how countries other than the US deal with their social and economic problems.

Earlier this month, he wrote: "I have to be honest, with my absence this week (and probably into next), I'm now worried about my film's release.

"I can't fly, I have to recover, and in one week (February 12th) this great movie I've put so much of my life into is going to open in theatres - with little or no assistance from me."

The film-maker blamed his poor health on wearing himself down by taking on too much - including helping the people in his home town of Flint, Michigan, with the dirty water emergency, and campaigning for senator Bernie Sanders's presidential bid.

He wrote: "I read somewhere you can't burn it at both ends, and if u do, it's best not to do so in the winter nor anywhere near a place full of toxic water!"

PA Media

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