Decent Films Mail > Mailbag #2

Re: Sicko (2007)

I’d be very interested to hear what you think about Sicko. When reading some reviews recently I happened to search for Michael Moore’s other movies here and found none of them. So maybe you have some objection to them in general. There’s one thing that Moore says several times in his films that I think you’d appreciate. Basically it’s this: should we not be judged by how we treat the least among us?

Thanks for your reviews and keep up the good work.

I have seen some of Michael Moore’s work, but I’ve stayed away from reviewing his films for the same reason I haven’t reviewed other political hot-potato movies: Politically themed movies as a class, whether liberal or conservative, leave me cold. C. S. Lewis once wrote:

I don’t like detective stories and therefore all detective stories look alike to me. If I wrote about them I should infallibly write drivel… Let bad tragedies be censured by those who love tragedy, bad detective stories by those who love the detective story. Then we shall learn their real faults.

In the same way, pick any random film critic out of all the critics in the world, and I’m sure you have someone better qualified to judge a Michael Moore movie than I am.

The message you attribute to Moore, about being judged by how we treat the least among us, comes of course from the gospel parable about the sheep and the goats, so it’s hardly one I would object to. The larger principle, rooted in the Sermon on the Mount, is to do as you would be done by. I leave it to others better suited to the discussion to explore whether, or to what extent, Moore’s approach to filmmaking and his use of subjects meets such a standard.

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