“Sicko,” review by Susan Granger

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On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Sicko” is a sensational 10. It’s not a perfect movie but it will make you think – and the conversations you’ll have afterwards are worth far more than the price of admission.

Why do we go to the movies? To be entertained and to be informed. Movies can capture America’s ethical or moral values of the moment, and movies can make us question who we are as individuals and what we are as a society.

That’s what docu-dramatist Michael Moore does – with “Roger & Me,” “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Now he’s taken aim at our corrupt health-care system, showing – albeit anecdotally – how the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies have ‘bought’ Congress so they can continue to dictate governmental decisions about health care. It’s an incontrovertible indictment.

According to the World Health Organization, the United States is ranked 37th, far behind Canada, England, France and Cuba. These nations manage to care for their citizens at little or no cost to the individual patient. Taxes pay the medical bills – for everyone.

Michael Moore’s cinematic style is manipulative, often confrontational and brutally comic. Granted, his unsubtle irony is simplistic and his “hospital” vignettes are staged; they’d have to be. Perhaps the drugs an American patient buys in Havana for five cents, as opposed to $120 at home, are not FDA approved. And Moore’s voyeuristic visit to Guantanamo with 9/11 rescue workers is obviously a stunt. But the evidence of American profiteering is overwhelming.

Moore poses the question: why do we gratefully accept the aid of our police and fire departments – which are government funded – yet become alarmed at the concept of “socialized medicine”? Isn’t taking care of ourselves the essence of “democracy”?

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.