He has been an elected official (at the budding age of 18 no less), executive editor of Mother Jones magazine and a would-be priest. Now, as a video journalist and moviemaker, Michael Moore is conquering his next mountain: The U.S. healthcare system. In SiCKO, out in early release from The Weinstein Company on June 22, Moore documents the drawbacks and inconsistencies in the privatized system while promoting an elimination of private health insurance and a regulation of pharmaceutical companies. â€œOne thing I said to my coworkers when we started was that we donâ€(tm)t need to spend a lot of time in the film telling the audience how bad the system is, because they already know,â€ Moore says. â€œThat would be like making a movie now and pointing out that Bush is a lousy president.â€ Wait, didnâ€(tm)t he already do that?
In 2004 the moviemaker caused a worldwide stir when his scathing critique on the Bush administration, Fahrenheit 9/11, hit theaters sans support of its Disney distribution label. With the mouse house out of the picture, the Weinstein brothers, Lionsgate and IFC Films stepped up to promote and distribute what became the highest grossing documentary in box office history.
Moore, no stranger to controversy, has become synonymous with sociopolitical calls to action since first raising a popular ruckus with the release of 1989â€(tm)s Roger & Me. His attempts at meeting with General Motors CEO Roger Smith raised many an eye to the economic fate of Mooreâ€(tm)s hometown of Flint, Michigan. His next documentary, the Academy Award-winning Bowling for Columbine, expanded its scope to the nationâ€(tm)s gun control laws (or, rather, leniency) after the shooting rampage at Columbine High School. Its screening at Cannes marked the first documentary to be shown at the festival in 46 years and came home with the 55th Anniversary Prize.
â€œIgnorance is never a healthy thing,â€ Moore observes. â€œYou canâ€(tm)t make the best decisions without having all of the information. Thatâ€(tm)s true in our daily life, and thatâ€(tm)s true in our political life.â€ Which is probably why we look to this passionate moviemaker to challenge us every few years.
Sound Off: Michael Moore confronts issues in his movies often by revealing only one side of the argument, explaining that the other side is what the public is bombarded with day in and day out. Some people find this deceitful while others find it necessary. What’s your view? Tell us what you think in our comments section!