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Sicko (DQ)



Director: Michael Moore

Another of Moore's painstaking and challenging documentaries, this one dissecting the cost of medical treatment in America. Love him or hate him, the man sure knows how to compile a persuasive case without boring his audience.

The USA is the only country in the world without free universal healthcare. 50 million Americans have no health insurance and 18,000 of them will die every year because of it.

Sometimes, those who can't pay are dumped back on the city's pavements. Even those who do have expensive private 'cover' find that the insurance companies (much as over here) will seek out any loophole in their attempts to avoid paying out. Patients getting rushed to hospital without prior approval is the most common - but, in America, even the most harmless 'prior condition' can lead to a denial of the claim.

As always, Moore makes a compelling case for draconian reform, but the Midas-rich insurance companies are doubtless laughing all the way to the bank. A rather bizarre trip to Guantanamo Bay strikes a rare false note, but otherwise you should see this and weep.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Optimum Releasing. Colour by deluxe.
122 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 20 Oct 2007