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Controversial Moore Film Shown at Cannes


The latest movie by the controversial U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore has opened at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Moore is known for his harsh criticism of American culture. This time, he is taking on the U.S. health care system. And the U.S. government is reported to be investigating whether it can take him to court. Anita Elash reports for the VOA.

Michael Moore is a favorite at the Cannes Film Festival. So when his film opened on Saturday in Cannes, it played to a packed house. The film is called "Sicko" (slang for sick), and its main message is that the U.S. health care system is driven by private industry greed. The film asks why 50 million Americans have no health care coverage, and why many who have health insurance still have trouble getting treatment.

Moore told a news conference he hopes the U.S. government will get the message.

"It is my profound hope that people will listen this time with this film because I don't want to wait 10 or 20 years before we have universal health coverage in America and I don't want to wait before we as Americans take a look into our soul so that we can become better citizens in this world," he said.

Moore's last film, Fahrenheit 9/11, criticized U.S. President George Bush, especially for his reaction to the September 11, 2001 attacks and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The film won the top prize at Cannes in 2004.

This time, the U.S. government apparently has Moore in its sights. To make "Sicko," he traveled to Cuba with some rescue workers who became ill after cleaning up debris from the terror attacks in New York. In the film, he shows them getting health care in Cuba that he says was unavailable to them in the United States.

The U.S. treasury department is reported to be investigating Moore for having possibly violated the ban on travel to Cuba. Moore says he could face prison, but the U.S. government has not commented. The film is scheduled to open in the U.S. at the end of June.

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