Michael Moore, whose controversial awarding-winning attack on the Bush regime, Fahrenheit 9/11, opens in Britain on 9 July, has revealed that he is to turn his camera on healthcare in the United States.
The director and author will attempt to save as many lives as he can by simply intervening with his camera crew during the course of 90 minutes of filming. He hopes to embarrass health insurance companies and hospitals into continuing to care for patients with no cover - highlighting holes in the American system.
It will be a deliberate reversal of Moore's decision to stay largely off screen in Fahrenheit 9/11 , the documentary in which he shows illicitly obtained footage of Bush off guard in the White House and of disillusioned soldiers in Iraq.
He believes the intrusion of a hand-held camera will be more effective than conventional protests against insurance groups and chain hospitals that 'abuse and beat down' poorer patients. 'I thought, "What if we constructed a film where we could see how many lives we could save in 90 minutes, moving as fast as we can, and our only weapon is the camera"?'
Moore said he had the idea when making his TV show, The Awful Truth, shown in Britain on Channel 4. 'We had this guy who was going to die because his HMO [insurers] wouldn't pay for his transplant so we went with him and conducted a funeral rehearsal,' said Moore. 'The HMO was ashamed and paid for the transplant and he lives to this day.'
News that the US health service is Moore's new target will be a relief to two groups which had been touted as likely to be next in his sights. It was rumored Tony Blair's government was Moore's latest subject, but at the Cannes Film Festival - where he won the coveted Palme d'Or - Moore indicated he wanted to look at Disney. He had fallen foul of the entertainment and leisure empire when they pulled out of the distribution of Fahrenheit 9/11 at the last minute.
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