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Michael Moore's Documentaries

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Michael Moore's documentaries are some of the most controversial documentaries nowadays because his films address sensitive social issues. Although some people would not like his particular style, his films have undeniably strong movie techniques and thoughtful structures. Moore makes expressive documentaries with his political view towards social issues, and uses rhetorical forms to persuade the audience to his cause. Sicko is a good example of such rhetorical form. In this film, the director offers insight into imperfect U.S healthcare system by including multiple interviews with people who suffer from inadequate healthcare and also by comparison to other countries' healthcare system.

The central message of Sicko is that the U.S healthcare system is seriously inadequate, and inferior to those of other countries'. The film starts by showing horrible testimonies about the American healthcare system in which people are dying because they are denied treatment, lose fingers because they can't pay the hospital, and are prematurely discharged from hospitals because of expensive treatment costs. The film structure is that appearances of many victims from the U.S healthcare system and a polemic toward health insurance companies and the government that were described as a greedy organizations. And also, the director contrasts the profit-driven, non-universal U.S. system with the non-profit universal health care systems of Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Cuba. Sicko does this by skillfully using three movie techniques: interview, musical effects, and voice-over.

First, interviews offered in the film effectively support the director's message by bringing forth a bit of empathy for the sufferers. For instance, the interviews with the people who had been denied healthcare make watching Sicko a personal experience. It brings the audiences with varying political views to sympathize with the sufferers.

The director also uses highly dramatic scenes with the interviews. These scenes include a victim suturing his own open wound, and a person losing fingers and a woman discussing the death of her husband. These kinds of dramatic and sensational effects have emotional influence on the audience and prove to be powerful tools for the director to achieve his objective.

Another impressive technique found in Sicko is background music. Criticism of the national healthcare system is a heavy and serious task. However, through ironic music scores, the film performs this task with humor and biting sarcasm. For example, the film plays music with humorous tone and cheerful melody in the background while President Bush speaks at a formal meeting. By using background music this way, the film seems more like a well organized TV show than a documentary.

The film employs not only ironical background music, but also a number of comical sound effects as well. When the narrator introduced the congress, portrayed



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