Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oscar Documentary Watch - Boy Is America F#$ked Isn't It?

I've been sick for a few days now and ended up watching two of the Oscar nominated documentaries in my Oscar catch up as I lay here groggily sipping on chicken soup.

So what do I watch? The Michael Moore documentary Sicko. How relevant (especially when I finished the DVD only to find John Edwards stepping out of the presidential race to lead a fight for universal health care!). And if I wasn't sick already, watching No End In Sight will make you sick. Especially after a video clip they showed that was made by a US contractor in Iraq, because if Sicko doesn't worry you, No End In Sight should. (Also, the big Air Force One behind the Republican debates should be a big worry too. Why is there a huge plane that looks like it crash landed in the auditorium doing in the political debates? Is it a promo for the return of Lost tomorrow? Or are they just "lost"?).

I know. I'm sick and I choose NOW to be political?

Sicko and No End In Sight are probably two documentaries that sit on opposing ends in style. While Michael Moore is generally in-your-face with media-friendly tactics, you have to hand it to him for creating personal yet easily digestable documentaries that really pull at our emotions and heartstrings, and Sicko benefits from dialing his usual tricks down and laying out the disturbing information about the American health care system in a less tabloid manner. Meanwhile, No End In Sight (by Charles Ferguson) lays down the step by step mistakes made by the Bush administration that has gotten the US involvement in Iraq into the huge debacle it has become.

So if you haven't seen them, DO, then let's discuss.

So I won't claim to know anything about American politics other than the rhetoric news on the news channels and the press, and I won't bash America per se, because I actually do love America and Americans. I just hate what some of you do, what some of your politicians do, and how the country has become a "me" society instead of a "we" society as a result of self preservation.

(Um, are those fighting words? From a Canadian with socialist tendencies enjoying my universal health care?)

Michael Moore might have given the rosiest pictures possible when he showed the health care systems of Canada, Britain and France (and Norway in a DVD extra which blows them all away) and as a Canadian, I will admit there are a lot of problems still, but on the other hand, personally, I haven't really experienced the bad things myself yet and I wouldn't give it up for anything.

Meanwhile, the rich people running the pharmaceuticals, the insurance companies and the government have been brilliant at controlling America through scare tactics and the media, and misinformation or giving little to no information at all, so I feel bad for the typical American that assumes their government is doing the best for them as the rich line their pockets with new policies that get them richer.

And, when did the Republicans become associated with fiscal conservatism (or at least, protecting the rich) while also becoming the party of choice for the religious? If one were religious, shouldn't we be sharing with the poor and making things better? I don't get it.

Anyways, both movies, Sicko and No End In Sight were fascinating and captivating and while the subjects are obviously relevant and important to hear, the movies themselves are made well in a logical and easy-to-understand manner. 

Sicko and No End In Sight = A

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