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Sicko

Oscar's Documentary Shortlist

COUNTRY: U.S.

DIRECTOR: Michael Moore

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: This year’s recipient of the IDA’s lifetime achievement award, Moore won an Oscar in 2003 for “Bowling for Columbine.”

FINANCING: “Sicko” cost $9 million to make and was fully funded by the Weinstein Co. To date, it has earned nearly $35 million worldwide.

THEME: After illustrating the failings of the U.S. health-care system through its victims and its Nixon-era roots, Moore travels to Canada, England, France and Cuba to paint a stark contrast with socialized medicine.

VARIETY REVIEW SAYS: “An affecting and entertaining dissection of the American health-care industry, showing how it benefits the few at the expense of the many.”

DISTRIBUTION STATUS: Released by Lionsgate in 1,117 theaters in its widest domestic pattern.

ON THE MAKING OF THE FILM: “I could have made a film about any of a number of issues — health care being one of them — that would address the same larger point that I wanted to make in the film, which is that in these other countries, even with all the flaws in their systems, they have a basic core belief that says, ‘We’re all in the same boat and we sink or swim together,’ ” Moore says. “Our core belief seems to be every man for himself, and I don’t think that’s the country most of us want to live in. I do my part by making these films, and I’m happy that they generate a lot of thinking and discussion and debate. The last poll I saw showed that the No. 1 domestic issue for voters in the upcoming election is health care. I hope I’ve made a small contribution to that.”

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