The one and only Michael Moore brought his movie "Sicko" to London last week for a special advanced screening. London is featured fairly predominantly in the movie, which is why he chose here to kick off a few special premiers he is doing, the next being in Michigan this Saturday, June 16th. The movie opens to wide release on June 29th.
A friend and I ventured out to catch the "red carpet" ceremony, which hinted at the possibility of stars arriving to catch an early glimpse of the film. However, the carpet was short - literally - and adorned only by four public figures: the Mayor of London, Anne Marie De Cicco-Best, the Mayor of Sarnia, Mike Bradley who was featured in Moore's film "Bowling for Columbine", actress Shirley Douglas, daughter of Tommy Douglas aka: the father of public medicare in Canada, and mum to Kiefer Sutherland, and last but not least the big guy himself, Michael Moore.
While it was nice to be able to catch a glimpse of Mr. Moore, it would have been nicer to have had the opportunity to see the film. A handful of tickets were given out through the newspaper and a local radio station, and that was it. The rest were by invite only. From out view point outside, they didn't appear to have a full house for the screening (more people went in for birthday parties than they did to see "Sicko"), so I wonder why the film distributors and 'Mike' didn't hand out any tickets to the fans who came to cheer him on. Yes, I was a little disappointed.
I was happy to be able to say I saw Mr. Moore in the flesh, who I admire for his film making and educated and informed opinions. But a peek at the movie would have been that much nicer. I look forward to seeing it when it is released, and seeing the picture he paints of the Canadian Health Care system. While we do have a great system, and I am extremely thankful for it, I wonder if Mr. Moore makes it out to be more "wine and roses" than it really is. It definitely has it's problems - a shortage of Doctors to crisis proportions to name just one - but overall we are blessed in Canada to have the universal coverage that we enjoy.
What I would like to see 'Mike' bring to the forefront in the United States next is the lack of interest in children and families on the part of the US Government. Particular focus should be made on the lack of time new parents are able to spend with their babies after they are born. Most women take only 6-12 weeks after birth - hardly time to heal from the process! - as they cannot afford, or are not allowed, to take anymore. Despicable. Another reason I am proud to be a Canadian. My country values my family, and realizes that the first year of a child's life is crucial.
I feel that we are overtaxed in Canada, and those taxes are greatly misused by our Government (another post for another time), however I realize that compared to the United States we have the greenest grass on the block. Read here to see just how "good" we really do have it. So yup. I'll suck it up and drag myself into the Urgent Care centre or walk-in clinic when I am ill, and I'll quit sniveling about not having a family doctor, although that would be nice. I'm just thankful that I can see a doctor and not worry that I have to sell a limb to do so.
Be proud, and be thankful.