Michael Moore's latest film, Sicko, just out in theaters, may -- as its detractors so quickly accuse it of being -- be biased and one-sided, but you know what? I don't give a damn, because, like all of Moore's films to date, it is still a hell of a unique work: one that tells the side of the downtrodden, ill-represented majority of this economically unbalanced society in which we dwell. It is a story that long needed to be told and the fact that someone as high-profile as Moore, whose films get so much attention and so many viewers, is a wonderful thing that hopefully will lead to changes in the current corrupt medical insurance system in the USA. Sicko also brings to my mind some of the other great expose documentaries that have been produced in recent years and that are available on DVD -- which means you should be able to find them in Amoeba's DVD section.
Some of my personal favorites include OutFoxed, which takes a humorous but scathing look at Rupert Murdoch's Fox News network (an easy target for sure...but a well worth looking into one), presenting some of the shameless attempts at "fair and balanced" reporting that the TV "news" station practices.
Other documentaries in the whistle-blower style include Robert Greenwald's must-see 2005 documentary Wal-Mart: The High Price Of Low Cost (see clip below), which exposes the retail giant for the shady, exploitive, corrupt employer and corporation that it really is -- one that has the audacity to wrap itself in the image of the American flag when its practices (ranging from exploiting medicare, destroying small businesses and communities within the United States and exploiting overseas workers) are the most un-American that any entity could possibly execute. This documentary exposes the retail giant from the perspective of its hard-working employees and along the way exposes facts such as the high crime rate in the under-protected Wal-Mart parking lots.
Meanwhile Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room brilliantly outlines one of the biggest scams in US history and how it totally unfairly exploited so many ordinary citizens. The film is most upsetting, especially in how it shows the way Enron took over California's power grids and proceeded to callously hold the state ransom by inflicting unnecessary rolling blackouts merely as a scare tactic to get away with obscenely greedy, profit-driven cost increases on Californians.
Of course, all of the other Michael Moore documentaries, including Fahrenheit 9/11, are worth owning in my opinion. I love having the DVDs because of all the great bonus features. For me, what unites all of these documentaries is that they are each clearly made out of a passion and true commitment to exposing what the film-makers see as a particular unforgivable wrong in our society. And while critics of all of these films may slam them for posing as "documentaries' when they essentially do not fit that category since they are not fairly showing both sides of a story, I say to hell with that, since the subjects they are exposing are so extreme and biased in their respective ways that, in turn, it takes extreme, one-sided reporting to fairly balance things out (eg Fox News's expose by OutFoxed).