I got to see Michael Moore’s new movie, SiCKO, last night, which opens a week from Friday. Run don’t walk. This movie is going to be huge — and have a huge impact. At the screening I attended, 1500 people were on their feet cheering through the entire credits.
It’s true that I wish Michael Moore were a wee bit more scrupulous with the facts in his films, but I sometimes wonder if he doesn’t insert random distortions into his movies deliberately. With rare exceptions, after all, they’re small things that could just as easily have been presented correctly without damaging his narrative at all. But the end result is the kind of publicity money can’t buy, and it’s the sweetest kind of publicity of all: the kind that’s subsidized by his enemies, who helpfully boost ticket sales by furiously denouncing his films for weeks on end.
With SiCKO, though, I’m willing to bet Moore mostly sticks to the facts. When you’re dealing with the American healthcare industry, after all, the facts alone are usually hard enough to swallow. Anything more would simply seem implausible, like expecting us to believe that Katherine Heigl has a hard time getting a date.
Which, of course, explains why he shot part of SiCKO in Cuba. Sweden or Canada would have worked just as well, but probably no other country in the world could have produced the kind of howling denunciations from the National Review set that Cuba has produced. Even the State Department got briefly into the act. Really, Moore’s brilliance at getting his mortal enemies to do all his publicity for him is unparallelled. His enemies’ willingness to go along with this time after time is astonishing.