Michael Moore’s new film Sicko shown in Cannes

This video is Michael Moore’s film Sicko, in English, with Dutch subtitles.

From British weekly The Observer:

Moore defies US ban threat

Director tells Cannes festival that government action against film about healthcare would be ‘insane’

Vanessa Thorpe, arts and media correspondent

Sunday May 20, 2007

The contentious new film from American satirical documentary-maker Michael Moore had an emotional international premiere at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday.

The disturbing nature of Sicko, which deals with the failings of the American healthcare system, has been a closely guarded secret until now.

It focuses on the suffering caused to the nine million children living in the United States whom Moore says are left without any health cover because of the country’s reliance on private insurance.

‘We are the last country in the industrialised world to have this system,’ the film-maker said after the screening.

‘The poorest child in Britain has a longer life expectancy than the average American child.’

See also here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

Sicko and ‘Moorewatch’: here.

6 thoughts on “Michael Moore’s new film Sicko shown in Cannes

  1. From Nancy A. Hey

    Narrative re: Removal of Sabrina Slyter

    On April 3, 2005, Sabrina Slyter was born to Nancy Hey. She weighed 7 lb. 4 oz. Mother and baby were released from the hospital on April 5, 2005. On April 8, 2005, Ms. Hey took Sabrina to the pediatrician for a regular post-birth follow-up. The baby had lost weight (from 7lb. 4oz. to 6lb. 12oz.) so the pediatrician recommended supplementation with formula (Ms. Hey was nursing) and a follow-up visit several days later. Ms. Hey saw the pediatrician three more times after that initial visit. Although Sabrina’s weight only dropped to 6 lb. 10 oz., she did not exhibit a sustained weight gain. As a result, on that third visit, the doctor who saw Ms. Hey and Sabrina indicated that Sabrina’s weight loss and lack of sustained weight gain was more significant than Ms. Hey had been led to believe and he instructed Ms. Hey to admit Sabrina to the hospital.

    So, on April 16, 2005, Sabrina and Ms. Hey were admitted to Virginia Hospital Center. Sabrina was admitted with a failure to thrive diagnosis. After increasing the amount of formula used to supplement Ms. Hey’s breast feeding, Sabrina gained weight. On April 19, Ms. Hey was visited by a social worker from the Arlington County Child Protective Services. On April 20, Ms. Hey and her live-in companion, Kit Slitor, (not the biological father of the baby) were compelled to sign a “Safety Plan” presented to them by the Arlington County CPS social worker. They were informed a refusal to sign would prevent the baby from being discharged. The following day, Ms. Hey and Sabrina were released from the hospital. On the date of release, Sabrina weighed 7 lb. 5 oz.

    On April 22, the social worker and one or more home nurses visited the family. The social worker returned the next day, Saturday, April 23; however, Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor refused her entry, stating they wanted a “time out” while they retained legal counsel (a letter to that effect was handed to the social worker). Over the weekend they sought, and by Monday morning they retained, an attorney who immediately attempted to contact the social worker. (Another attorney who is a friend had attempted to contact the social worker over the weekend.) Notwithstanding the fact that counsel managed to speak to the social worker sometime late Monday morning, the social worker went forward with a request for an Emergency Removal Order which was granted. The Order was executed that day, April 25, and Sabrina was placed in foster care. At the time of removal, Sabrina weighed 8 lb. 1 oz., a 12 oz. gain from April 21 the day on which Sabrina was released from the hospital.

    On May 2, the Court made a finding of abuse and neglect and ordered psychological evaluations for both Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor. Those evaluations, which were performed by individuals hired by the County, occurred over the course of the next two weeks. Following those evaluations, a Foster Care Service Plan was developed by the County. The Plan’s stated goal was “return home” and it imposed several obligations on the parents, all of which they have complied with. On July 5, the Foster Care Service Plan was presented to the Court and accepted.

    Although visits were occurring between Sabrina and Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor, they did not occur on a set, regular schedule. The visits that did take place, took place at the County offices and were only approximately one hour in duration and usually no more than twice a week, although some weeks there was only one visit. By early September, for all intents and purposes, the visits had ceased, because Sabrina had exhibited increasing signs of distress. At a follow-up hearing on October 25, the Court ordered that a home visit occur. That visit occurred three days later, on October 28, after which both sides submitted to the Court memoranda summarizing the visit. On November 14, the Court issued a letter ordering that visits continue to occur in the parents’ home. One such additional visit occurred, on November 23, approximately a month after the previous in-home visit. Those two visits are the only visits Ms. Hey had been able to participate in since late August/early September. Mr. Slitor, whom the County wanted to evaluate as the potential primary caretaker since Ms. Hey had been ruled out by the County as such, did have several short visits on his own in October and one in December. (It should be noted that Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor got married in October.)

    At a follow-up hearing in late November, the Court ordered both sides to submit a plan for facilitating the goal of return home, which both sides did. In mid-December, the Court informed both sides that it had accepted the plan submitted on behalf of Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor, which contemplated regular, frequent visits with increasing duration accompanied by instruction from a qualified home-based services provider. The Court ordered that all visitation cease until the new reunification process could begin with the new service providers. The Court also ordered that Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor be financially responsible for the services to be provided.

    Starting in January, that plan was implemented and the reunification process got underway. Initially, the service providers familiarized themselves with Sabrina and Sabrina with them. They then slowly and carefully reintroduced the parents to Sabrina in an effort to properly restart the attachment process. The visits occurred on a set schedule (3 days a week) in the parents’ home and, as time went on, the duration of the visits steadily increased. During these visits, the parents received parenting instruction and once a week they participated in a parent-infant therapy session. The amount of instruction provided by the home-based workers decreased as time went on.

    This process continued until approximately June 15, by which time Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor were spending more than 20 hours a week with Sabrina and even had had two supervised overnight visits with Sabrina. Notably, throughout this process, Sabrina did not exhibit any of the distress she previously exhibited which had led the County to essentially terminate visits. However, on June 15, the Court accepted the County’s proposed change in goal, put forth in March, from “return home” to “adoption”. This occurred notwithstanding the Court’s acknowledgment that significant progress had been made in the reunification process and that the parents had maintained consistent contact with Sabrina.

    A hearing on the County’s petition for termination of parental rights was scheduled for September 20, 21, and 22. However, on September 20, the parties agreed to the entry of an involuntary termination order. They also agreed upon continued visitation, albeit on a truncated scale (Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor now see Sabrina only every other week for three hours which primarily is the result of the foster parents having moved to North Carolina), pending an appeal of both the change of goal and the termination to the Circuit Court for Arlington County. That appeal got underway in December 2006 and is scheduled to continue at least through April 24, 2007.

    In addition to the judicial action, the County issued, on June 20, 2005, an administrative finding against Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor of physical neglect and failure to thrive, assigning the highest possible level to its finding. As a result of this finding, Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor currently are subject to having their names appear on the Virginia Department of Social Services Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry for a period of 18 years.

    Upon a request for an appeal, a local conference was held on November 30, 2005. The presiding official was the Deputy Director of Social Services for Arlington County. On December 6, 2005, the Deputy Director issued her decision which was to uphold the initial finding. Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor appealed this decision and, on June 21, 2006, that appeal was heard by a hearing officer designated by the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services. On September 1, 2006, the hearing officer issued his decision.

    In short, the hearing officer determined that the Agency (i.e., the County) failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence its contention that Sabrina met the criteria for a finding of physical neglect-failure to thrive and, accordingly, reversed the decision. As a result, Ms. Hey and Mr. Slitor are no longer subject to appearing on the Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry.

    Despite having been exonerated in the administrative proceeding, the judicial action continues unresolved. On June 1st, 2007, Judge James Almand of the Fourth Circuit Court of Arlington County ruled to uphold the lower court’s ruling to terminate the parental rights of Nancy Hey, and to deny the petitions for custody filed by Sabrina’s stepfather Kit Slitor and maternal grandmother Louise Hey.


  2. Steelworkers president reviews “SiCKO”
    Posted by: “bigraccoon” bigraccoon@earthlink.net redwoodsaurus
    Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:17 pm (PST)
    Steelworkers president reviews “SiCKO”

    Review of Michael Moore¹s New Film, “SiCKO”

    By USW (United Steel Workers union) International President Leo W. Gerard

    Michael Moore, the activist author and filmmaker, has given every union member in the United States a great tool of advocacy for our health care agenda with his new movie, “SiCKO.” We should return that favor by attending the premiere of his movie June 29. Wear your USW gold and blue when you go.

    With a compelling combination of humor and pathos, “SiCKO” documents how medical insurance companies act like cancer on this country’s health care system. This is what we want to eliminate with a national health care system.

    Moore begins “SiCKO” by subjecting his viewers to excruciatingly painful insurance system failure scenes. They include an injured worker suturing up his own lacerated knee because he is one of the 47 million Americans without health insurance; a couple moving into a spare room in their daughter’s home after medical insurance co-payments for the husband¹s three heart attacks and the wife’s cancer forced them into bankruptcy, the most common cause for personal bankruptcy today; and a young woman recounting the death of her 18-month-old baby because an ambulance took the critically ill girl to a hospital that refused to treat her because her insurance would not pay for services there.

    Those disquieting scenes are thankfully interspersed with Moore’s often-comical antics in four countries with national health care: Canada, Britain, France and Cuba.

    In Canada, he tools around in a golf cart with a conservative, who endorses the country’s national system of medicine and describes its creator, Tommy C. Douglas, as a Canadian hero, akin to George Washington or Abe Lincoln.

    How could a conservative support socialized medicine, Moore asks the man. The conservative says it’s because not everyone can afford the medical services they need. The conservative, like Michael Moore and most of us, recognizes that health care is a human right, not some kind of privilege bestowed only on the rich or the lucky.

    On his trip to Britain to investigate their national health care system, begun after World War II, Michael Moore searches a hospital for some department that will bill a patient. Finally, after numerous workers laugh at him, Moore discovers a cashier’s window. It turns out, however, money is dispensed from the window to patients, reimbursing them for public transit to the hospital.

    Moore reports that his research shows that Canadian, British and French citizens live longer, healthier lives than Americans, and their infants are more likely to survive. The overhead costs for these health care systems are far less than America’s. In fact, the overhead for the one, already national system in America, Medicare, is 3 percent. It’s 30 percent for the insurance system. Apparently, Moore says, the government can do something right.

    Moore ends up in Cuba after trying to take some American patients, including two 9-11 first responders who suffered lung injuries, to Guantanamo Bay to get some of that free health care American is dispensing to accused al Qaida war criminals imprisoned there.

    After being refused entrance to the American portion of the island, Moore takes his patients to a Cuban hospital which provided free treatment to the foreigners, under the same procedures and circumstances that it gives care to Cuban citizens. The idea, again, was that medical treatment is a right of all humans, regardless of nationality, or religion or politics.

    A Cuban firehouse conducted a ceremony to honor the first responders before they left because, the firemen said, they were all brothers and sisters. The Cubans said they wished they could have aided with the rescue on 9-11.

    This kind of solidarity is essential for us to win a better health care system. The film advocates radical surgery on the American system to excise the insurance companies, which profit by denying coverage, treatments and pharmaceuticals, and by rescinding payments once made.

    Michael Moore argues in “SiCKO” that this is not representative of American behavior. We show solidarity in crises. We rush to aid each other when there’s a tornado, a Katrina, a Virginia Tech. We bring food, build houses, give blood and clothes. We are generous. We are not the people of a stingy health care system. We have the right, the power and the opportunity to deliberately plan and build a health care system that would be fair and equitable and cover everyone as a human right. Let’s stand in solidarity for that.

    We all know from our bargaining experiences how crucial it is to get health care off the table. That would eliminate much of the contentiousness in negotiations and make it much easier for American companies to compete in the global economy against nations that already provide national health care, including all of those in Western industrialized countries. We should act to radically reform the existing health care system that has resulted in 47 million uninsured Americans.

    Make no mistake. Moore’s film advances our cause. It’s to our benefit to advance his film, which will play in only about 1,000 theaters its first weekend. The more people who clamor to get into those doors that first weekend, the more movie screens it will appear on the following week, and so on. The more popular the film, the more clear it will be to politicians that this issue must be addressed.

    Again, I encourage you to go see the movie on opening night. Put on your USW cap or shirt when you go. Take your family and friends and neighbors. And take action outside the theatre, too. Stand in solidarity with your union brothers and sisters and Michael Moore to cure our SiCKO health care system.


  3. Bringing Children and Families Back Together, Rally August 18th at the Lincoln Memorial

    DCRally2007 is coming to Washington DC; because the states condone and allow the abduction of children from their homes and the placing of children into the adoption market. The states have opened this door and allow illegal step-parent adoptions without the knowledge and/or consent of fit and loving parents. This outrage is breaking the hearts of good, fit, loving parents and America’s children.


    Peacefully Yours, Nancy A. Hey


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