Thursday 19 September 2019

Moore praises Britain's NHS at 'Sicko' launch

SHERNA NOAH

FILM-MAKER Michael Moore extols the virtues of the British NHS in his new documentary on the failings of US healthcare.

The controversial film-maker is under investigation by US authorities for his new documentary, Sicko, which scrutinises the American system of private insurance.

The first showing was screened at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, with some critics already hailing Sicko as "more mature" than his other works.

Moore visits Britain, France and Canada in the film and takes US citizens to Guantanamo Bay to see how inmates at the prison camp get better healthcare than 9/11 volunteers in the US.

The documentary-maker, who won the Palme d'Or in 2004 with Fahrenheit 9/11, says he made a duplicate of his film, which he "smuggled" out of the US, in case authorities confiscated the original over his decision to film in Cuba.

He said he could now face the prospect of jail.

At a press conference after yesterday's screening of Sicko, Moore described the US private-healthcare insurance system, which leaves nearly 50 million US citizens out of the healthcare loop, as "barbaric".

He added: "My thinking in travelling around the world is that what we should do as Americans is what we always do, just steal the best things from your system and not the things which are done wrong. Then call it the Americansystem."

Moore said he had toned down his style from his earlier, more confrontational films: "I wanted a different tone and to say things in a different way. I don't want the audience thinking that as long as Michael goes and beats up the chairman of the corporation we can sit here and cheer him on."

In his last film, Fahrenheit 9/11, he accosted members of the US Congress to ask them to enlist their sons and daughters in the Iraq war.

He said: "I was thinking about that after Fahrenheit 9/11 and I decided to think about that whole concept of the audience living through the screen vicariously. Change will only happen if people rise up out of their theatre seats and call for action, not for Michael Moore to go out and do it but for the public to go out and do it.

"I'm tired of all the yelling and screaming and not getting anywhere," he added.

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