I got to see Michael Moore's new film early, and I can tell you---it's incredible. Stop reading here if you don't want to know anything about the film.
There are the typical Moore qualities: a few startling narratives to get the film going, some history on the HMO (which started with an arrangement between Edgar Kaiser and Nixon in the early 1970s) and its current method of denying claims to average people in dire need, and the provocative questioning. There is also a stunt of sorts (think of his going to Charlton Heston's home to talk about the NRA), in which he leaves Florida by boat, accompanied by three sick 9/11 EMT volunteers, to get medical assistance at Guantanamo Bay, which according to the film, offers enemy combatants better health care than U.S. citizens. It's a funny (and disturbing) sight to see Moore, in his Detroit Tigers cap, asking another man on a boat going by, "Which way to Guantanamo?" The three people eventually get good medical care in Cuba, which is some of the most compelling footage of the film. It mirrors what we discover in England, Canada, and France--that these countries have high quality, universal health care, free for all men, women, and children regardless of income, race, or religion, or political affiliation. The scenes from these other countries are the most compelling parts of the film; they illuminate our own failures by showing viewers what our national health system could be---similar to the amazing NHS of England, for example.
In the end of the film, Moore takes a unique step. I won't spoil it here for you, but I will say that he addresses one of his most aggressive opponents in a remarkable way. If you see the film, you'll know what I mean. You will also know that he takes Democrats to task as much as he does any other politician. If it's possible that Moore could make a non-partisan film, this is the one. His concern is health care, plain and simple. I recommend this film highly.
Sicko screens in New York City this Friday and opens in theaters everywhere on June 29.