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The Reeler Blog

Moore to Love: Sicko's Subjects Speak

Harvey Weinstein is taking solace that Sicko has found approval from most observers at Cannes, including a mildly underwhelmed Manohla Dargis, who writes today that director Michael Moore is "still the P. T. Barnum of activist cinema, but he no longer runs the entire circus directly from the spotlight."

Previously, a pair of interesting weekend stories (both via Lou Lumenick) checked in with some of Sicko's subjects. Specifically, three ill 9/11 first responders who joined Moore on his now infamous, "unlicensed" voyage to Cuba spoke to the AP last week following a private New York screening:

"It was funny. It was real," said (Reggie) Cervantes, 46, who says she suffers from pulmonary ailments, esophageal reflex, post-traumatic stress disorder, ear and eye infections and other problems stemming from time at ground zero. Of the trip, she said: "It feels surreal. Were we really there?"

"This trip opened my eyes," offered Bill Maher, 54, another former ground zero volunteer from Maywood, N.J., who had extensive dental work in Cuba. "I was uneducated. I remembered the Cuban missile crisis. Now, you know what? I’m going back!"

"I’m going with you," replied Cervantes.

The Sunday Post offered a more skeptical follow-up with the duo -- apparently threatened by financial woes now as well -- ultimately saying the same thing; this time, though, author Susan Edelman pieced together an "expose" of her own:

The 20-minute segment of the film devoted to Cuba seems to portray the trip as a "reverse flotilla" -- but it's purely for show.

The responders told The Post that Moore rented three charter fishing boats in Miami, loading crew members and sick people -- about 10 to a boat. In the movie, the boat is seen heading out to sea, presumably bound for Cuba. But in reality, the boat made a U-turn to Miami, and Moore's group later boarded a commercial flight to Cuba.

What?!? They didn't boat 99 miles to Cuba? And they're still sick after five-and-a-half years? Hmph! P.T. Barnum is right.

Posted at May 21, 2007 10:41 AM

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