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Sicko (2007)
19 months ago via Flixster

Joseph Goebbels famously said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." So it came as no surprise that the greatest socialist propagandist of our generation, Michael Moore, would continue to tell the "Big Lie" that we would all be better off if we just gave up "evil" capitalism for good and drank the communist Kool-aid. No, "Sicko" is not a biopic about the infamous director (although his book "Stupid White Men" is autobiographical), but a man that continues to manipulate and distort the facts while attempting to pass himself off as a legitimate documentarian is truly sick indeed. NOTE: In my previous reviews of Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine, you can read about how Moore exploited an amputee (who fully supported the President ironically), resorted to using a phony mock-up of a newspaper article (with the wrong date!) and how he selectively edited a speech by Charlton Heston (who was well-known for his work as a civil rights activist) to make him appear racist and insensitive. In the beginning of Sicko, we are promised by Mr. Moore that the film wouldn't be about the approximately 50 million Americans without health care (yet another lie) and then he proceeded to go around to various countries and attempt to show how much better they have it than Americans with socialized medicine. To be fair, I did see one thing in this film that I agreed with. In the final credits, Moore included a wonderful quote by Alexis de Tocqueville: "The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults." And as if to add more credibility to these words, Mr. Moore reminds us that Tocqueville was French. Of course, the truly enlightened in every country understand that the way to repair faults is with less government intervention in our lives not more. And since Mr. Moore is shameless when it comes to selling out to the French (ostensibly to win another Palme d'Or) and quoting dead Frenchmen, let me use this opportunity to quote another dead Frenchman Frà (C)dà (C)ric Bastiat: "Who would not like to see all these benefits flow forth upon the world from the law, as from an inexhaustible source? But is it possible? Where does (the government) draw those resources that it is urged to dispense by way of benefits to individuals? Is it not from the individuals themselves? How, then, can these resources be increased by passing through the hands of a parasitical and voracious intermediary?" Bastiat also popularized what is known as the Broken Window Fallacy, the idea that there are hidden costs associated with purposely breaking windows (among other things) so that a certain segment of society (i.e. glassworkers) can gain from it. Never has a film been more deluded by the Broken Window Fallacy than Sicko. Just listen to Moore gush about how the French get free laundry service from the government! There are no hidden costs there, right? And these "necessary" perks are not available in the US because Americans are the most selfish, uncaring people on the earth, right? So this filmmaker would have you believe. Consider how he portrays a woman being tossed out of a health care facility like refuse. He conveniently fails to mention that under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act it is illegal to refuse people emergency service due to their inability to pay for it, but why bother to state the facts when depicting human suffering is such effective propaganda? Furthermore, if these catastrophic events are really occurring and bodies are piling up in the streets, why doesn't Mr. Moore do something about it immediately?! I know it's hard to give up such a lavish lifestyle, but perhaps he could forego riding in chauffeured limousines (maybe even skip a few meals?) at least until this "disaster" is averted. So delusioned by his Robin Hood approach to save the world from capitalism and oblivious to the true cost of socialism, Moore interviews residents of Cuba about the "great" benefits of universal health care and how cheap it is (more broken windows). No mention about how under law 88, any dissent whatsoever would get these Cubans up to 15 years in prison. This would be like asking a slave if he was being treated well right in front of his master. One of the Cubans Moore interviews happens to be Aleida Guevara. No mention, of course, that her father Che was an ardent socialist and mass murderer who executed thousands. The irony was apparently lost on Moore. Of course, the genocide in Latin America pales in comparison to the atrocities perpetrated in places like Russia, China, and Cambodia in the 20th century. In fact, regimes calling themselves socialists have murdered over 100 million people since 1917. Millions more perished because their governments couldn't feed them. These are the real, explicit costs of socialism that you will never see in a Michael Moore film. He seems to be more concerned with obscurantism and self-loathing than telling you the truth. The apex of Moore's self-hatred comes at the point in the film where he dejectedly asks the audience, "Who are we? and what has happened to our soul?" So I will end this review by answering these questions. Just as far-left academians, politicians, and socialist filmmakers are conspiring to make us feel guilty for our vast wealth and telling us we are the most greedy and miserly group of people that ever lived, America has set an all-time record for charitable giving, donating more than 295 billion dollars last year, more than any civilization in the history of the world. Notice how that is not money taken by force and squandered by a parasitical and voracious intermediary (i.e. the IRS, socialist governments). But surely this must be a mistake becuase Mr. Moore is telling us that the French are so much more compassionate. Perhaps the French don't produce as much as the evil Americans who profit on the backs of the poor. So how much did these countries give as a percentage of their gross domestic product? That would be 1.7% for the Americans and a whopping 0.14% for the French. So much for Mr. Moore telling us how selfish we are in relation to the rest of the world, especially the French. Could it be that this filmmaker is so deluded by utopian dreams of a society with the basic principle: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" (as quoted directly from Karl Marx by a French doctor in Sicko) that he is willing to deceive his audiences to achieve it? After all, the end justifies the means, right? Fortunately, the majority of Americans are not fooled. They understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch (neither free healthcare nor free laundry service) and that the society that Mr. Moore wants us all to have in reality would make everyone equally poor. And so it is that Mr. Moore has discovered a powerful medium (film) and means (deceitful propaganda) to achieve his desired end (socialism), just like those that came before him... wonderful people like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Guevara, and Castro. Thankfully, we are not all drinking the Kool-aid just yet.