The best and worst of Michael Moore are on display as he sets about attacking the way that healthcare is managed in America. The first line of attack exemplifies Moore at his maverick best. Instead of basing a documentary around the 50 million Americans with no health insurance, he dismisses these poor unfortunates in the first five minutes before shining a light on those Americans who think they’re protected, only for insurance companies to renege on their promises.
As he trawls through hospitals and visits his relatives in Canada, Moore takes on his familiar persona of curious and bumbling middle class white American. He sends up America’s fear of socialism, while pointing out that the very policies deemed unsuitable for health services are the very same ones that have been applied successfully to the fire and police services.
Less interesting or sustained are his rose-tinted views of European health service systems. Bizarrely, our own NHS has never looked so good, which is ironic considering the very recent poor handling of the infection clostridium difficile that resulted in 90 deaths at NHS Trust hospitals. This journalistic myopia undermines Moore’s attacks on the US healthcare system and may well leave British audiences wondering what else he has chosen not to see.
GFT, Glasgow; Cameo, Edinburgh, Fri 26 Oct.