Lights. Camera. Action!
Upon his arrival to several hundred screaming fans at Masonville Silvercity, Michael Moore took his time getting into the theatre, stopping to talk to media while signing books, guitars, and a poster nominating him for prime minister.
He appeared on the red carpet in jeans and running shoes, patiently answering questions and giving a cheerful fist pump, “Canadians!” to a whooping crowd before disappearing into the theatre.
Moore was in London for the premiere of his new film Sicko on Friday night, and while he may have completed his film which criticizes the American health care system, the Canadian media spent a frenzied day documenting his documentary.
“I wanted this movie to begin where my family began—right here in the London area,” Moore said about his decision to premiere the movie in London. Many scenes from his movie drew Canadian content from the area, he said. He also wanted to see how much attention he could draw from neighbouring cities like Toronto.
Looks like he got his wish. CBC Toronto videographer Joe Fiorino, 35, said the crew arrived at 10:30 a.m. The broadcast would later be sent to Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa CBC stations. London’s A-Channel began setting up satellites and cables by early afternoon.
CTV also sent representatives from Toronto to the opening of the highly anticipated documentary which shines a favourable light on Canadian health care. Richard Crouse, 44, film critic of Canada AM, praised the movie, saying “after I saw the movie yesterday, I walked out and kissed the ground, happy to be a Canadian.”
Not all feedback has been in praise of Moore’s documentary, but he’s brushed all negativity aside. “Is there a lot of negative press?” He said. “I’m sorry if there is, but really, I’ve received nothing but positive stuff here,” said Moore. He received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival in France earlier in the month, according to CBC news reports.
He certainly got a warm welcome on Friday. Kevin Tuck, 16, arrived at 1 p.m. with his friends, armed with acoustic guitars. They’d been planning to write a song for Moore, but it just didn’t happen, Tuck said. They were joined by other fans and curious on-lookers by 2 p.m. and the parking lot was filled by six.
Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best was first to arrive, followed by Shirley Douglas, actress and daughter of Tommy Douglas who is known for fathering the Canadian health care system. “I’d say we need enormous improvements in the Canadian health care system, but I do not want it to become what the American health care system has become,” said Douglas. “I’m willing to fight very hard to see that it doesn’t. I think this film will help.”
When asked what she thought of about the American health care system, Douglas promptly replied, “Profit, and inability to get into the hospital without money.”
Moore, also known for his documentaries Bowling for Columbine and Farenheit 9/11, was tight-lipped about his next film idea. “I’m facing prosecution from the United States for what I did in making this movie,” he said referring to the 9/11 workers he brought into Cuba for health care. “I don’t think they’ll stop coming after me any time soon, and I’d rather not reveal to them who I’m going after next.”
When asked if Moore would become a Canadian citizen anytime soon, he responded, “no, but you’re all welcome to come to my country. We have wonderful immigration policies.”