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05 July 2007

Watching "Sicko" in Dallas [More:]I was one of the people who...ummmm... watched the movie early. I've gone into debt quite a bit thanks to health problems and I've also gone to doctors overseas & seen the difference. (I went to a doctor in Greece last year who took me as a walk-in and only charged me NINE DOLLARS.) And one of my constant worries for years has been that my mom will run out of money to pay for her medical expenses. I can't afford to take care of her by myself. I don't know what I'll do. I've even made the drive to Tijuana to buy cheap medications for her... and I hate Tijuana. Nobody should have to drive to MEXICO to find affordable arthritis pills.

If this movie actually makes any difference, I'll have no choice but to never have a bad word to say about Michael Moore as long as he lives. But do you think it ever will? These people are up in arms in theatre lobbies... do you think they'll just go back to feeling powerless and apathetic and doing nothing? Or do you think this movie will inspire change the way Supersize Me did? I'm curious.

"In all my thirty years on this earth, I have never ever seen any movie have this kind of unifying effect on people. It was like I was standing there, at the birth of a new political movement. Even after 9/11, there was never a reaction like this, at least not in Texas. If Sicko truly has this sort of power, then Michael Moore has done something beyond amazing. If it can change people, affect people like this in the conservative hotbed of Texas, then Sicko isnít just a great movie, seeing it may be one of the most important things you do all year."
posted by ericb 05 July | 10:13
I'm hoping, at the very least, that the next time universal health care comes up in Congress that people won't be all OMG RED MENACE!!!

I think we may have reached the tipping point on this issue, and hopefully Sicko will help push us over the edge.

Personally, the movie made me very angry, and I can understand the response of the crowd in Texas. My son is two years old, and I just last month finished paying for his birth. I HAVE health insurance and it still cost me thousands. Doesn't seem right. After watching the movie, my wife and I pledged to try and move to Canada in six years if things don't improve.
posted by Otis 05 July | 10:33
the next time universal health care comes up in Congress that people won't be all OMG RED MENACE!!!

posted by BoringPostcards 05 July | 11:51
we may have reached the tipping point on this issue

The tipping point is when employers (ie, corporations) decide that they're spending too much to give insurance to their workers and they'll have the government pick up the tab, and some kind of deal with the insurance companies will be cut. In Congress.

A movie can raise awareness but it's not that people are having a good time being uninsured or driving to Tijuana or, even worse, going bankrupt to pay their bills.

I think we're having a bit of wishful thinking here. It's easier to create critical mass in Congress against gay marriage (I mean, not even John Edwards, possibly the most liberal of the major presidential candidates, is in favor of gay marriage) than it is to create critical mass in favor of universal health care. It's a paradox, but it's how things work. Do you guys remember the 1994 anti-Hillary-plan TV ads, the ones with Jackie and Hank or whatever the fuck the actors name was? They were everywere -- the insurance companies can buy an awful lot of PR.

Moore did Fahrenheit 9-11 and soon thereafter Bush won the election
posted by matteo 05 July | 12:22
As everyone knows thereís no more conservative state in the Union than here.

I dunno I'd go there. Plenty of Democrats in Texas, y'all. Now Idaho or Utah ....
posted by stilicho 05 July | 12:27
I'm hoping, at the very least, that the next time universal health care comes up in Congress that people won't be all OMG RED MENACE!!!

They never were. The media told us that, but they were stenographers for Matt Drudge.

The public has been ready for it for years, now, and even Republican voters are a majority in favor.
posted by stilicho 05 July | 12:29
I've said this before, but as matteo said, I think it'll really come about when the big companies decide to get behind it. It'll be giant interest group (the Fords, GMs, etc.) of the US against another giant interest group (the health care industry). I just hope the large companies are bigger.

Arguably, it needs to happen sooner rather than later. As the boomers age, more of them will sink money into health care, in turn increasing the power of the health care lobby.
posted by drezdn 05 July | 12:36
"These people are up in arms in theatre lobbies..." That is, if you can believe the blogger.

Like Hillary and Obama, Moore is great for inspiring the choir but can he (and they) overcome their baggage and reach the conservative left, the middle, and the liberal right?

As of Monday, Sicko grossed just less than $5 million. That is not a whole lot of butts in seats, and with the holiday passed, I doubt many more will shell out pricey theater admissions for what they know will be a preachy shockumentary made by a director not only with a reputation for playing loose with facts but whose film making skills (ignoring content) are not all that great.

As for the "OMG RED MENACE" contingent, they number only a small portion of those who oppose further government interference with the health care system. A far greater number are those of us who have experienced first or second hand the Veterans Administration, Social Security Disability, and/or Medicare. Though rife with substandard quality of care, the greater problem is understaffed and underqualified bureaucracies.

Why? One reason is the constant shift between Democrat and Republican control causing far too much instability to provide any kind of consistent focus on improving the situation. One of the greatest fears among those who oppose national health care is sinking billions and possibly trillions of dollars into something that could get axed by the next administration for underachieving during its fledgling years.
posted by mischief 05 July | 12:42
Or, to some it all up in one word: Katrina.
posted by mischief 05 July | 12:52
As of Monday, Sicko grossed just less than $5 million.

Tuesday | July 3: "Sicko's" Successful Weekend Puts it in 200 More Cities Beginning Today!

The results are in from the weekend -- and they are amazing! "Sicko" more than doubled what industry insiders had predicted it would do for the weekend and, as I predicted, it did indeed have the second largest opening weekend in film history for a documentary (after F911). It also had the second highest per screen average for the weekend (after the Pixar animated film, "Ratatouille"). All this in spite of the fact, as Variety wrote, it's not been a very good year for documentaries at the box office. According to Variety, there have been 29 docs released in theaters in 2007, and they have grossed less than two million combined. What does it say about the state of affairs for non-fiction films if, in just three days, one film more than doubles what all 29 of them did together? I've decided I want to do something about this. I see so many great documentaries and it's a shame that most of you don't get to see them. Later this year, I will announce a new project that will help other filmmakers get the distribution they deserve.

Of course, if you live in Lincoln, NE; Bangor, ME; Reno, NV; New Haven, CT; Columbia, SC; or Oklahoma City, you didn't get to see "Sicko" this weekend either. But thanks to the massive turnout in the 440 theaters who had it, the studio has decided to expand "Sicko," TODAY (Tuesday, July 3) to 200 more theaters! And this Friday, they will add another 100 cities. Those of you who went to see it in the last few days have made it possible for others around the country to see my movie. Thank you.
posted by ericb 05 July | 22:37
made by a director not only with a reputation for playing loose with facts

CNN: "Sicko" Facts Check Out.
posted by ericb 05 July | 22:42
Boo-hoo! My iPhone died after 4 days || Okay, so I'm gonna learn Spanish