Eye For Film >> Movies >> Sicko (2007) DVD Review
Reviewed by: Amber WilkinsonRead Jeff Robson's film review of Sicko
As you would expect from Michael Moore, the DVD extras offer you more of the same type of content seen in the film itself. And, like the film, these vary between the utterly compelling and less convincing.
Tragically gripping is tale of Joe, who is dying because he hasn't got the cash to complete a cause of radiotherapy and the story of a woman who raised to funds for treatment only to be told that because she had done this rather than paying 'out of her own pocket' she was no longer elligible for a discount.
An extended interview with Tony Benn - respect him though we may - is, however, little more than a hagiography of the man, which many may find distinctly OTT, although much of what he says is interesting, if from a very specific viewpoint. There are certainly many in the UK who would baulk at his being held up as a "champion of the people" even if they agree with him.
Among the other segments are a look at Norway as a modern utopia - although there is precious little mention of the high level of taxation which your average European knows exists to pay for their quality of life, plus HR 676 (Sicko Goes To Washington), which sees Moore put his case for public healthcare to senators - a battle still being waged. There is also a look at the way American firm General Electric affords its French workers better rights than those in the US - although this is very light in terms of comparative detail.
The best of the additional material, however, is probably in-depth interviews with Marcia Angell MD and writer Elizabeth Warren.
Angell talks about the way in which new drugs are produced for profit, even if they are simply new forms of an old one, and which are no better in terms of efficacy, while Warren explains how the middle-classes, with insurance, all too often go broke due to illness, adding "no one is safe".
Rounding out the package is footage from the LA premiere - not on a red carpet, but on Skid Row, where the audience are visibly moved by what they are watching; an interview with Che Guevara's daughter Aleida, who talks about how the US trade blockade prevents some pharamaceuticals being used to save lives in Cuba, the music video of Alone Without You and the trailer.
Sadly neither the film nor the extras are subtitled, which seems a shame - surely deaf Americans need to be told about what's happening in healthcare too?
Still, a decent and comprehensive set of additional footage which certainly makes the DVD worth watching - although which will always have the greatest appeal to a US audience, which is just as it should be.Reviewed on: 11 Jan 2008