|Michael Moore's new documentary "Sicko" is a rave at Cannes, but that hasn't stopped the Bush administration from trying to intimidate the filmmaker and his backers at the Weinstein Co. According to a story in Saturday's Guardian:
The film has already caused Moore - who won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2004 with Fahrenheit 911 - to clash with the American authorities. Now, according to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Company is behind the film, the US government is attempting to impound the negative.Maybe they could get Alberto Gonzales to go talk to Harvey Weinstein with Andy Card and a billy club...?
According to Weinstein, the US Treasury's moves meant "we had to fly the movie to another country"- he would not say to where. "Let the secret service find that out - though this is the same country that thought there were weapons of mass destruction, so they'll never find it." He added that he feared that if the film were impounded, there might be attempts to cut some footage, in particular the last 20 minutes, which related to a trip to Cuba. This, said Weinstein, "would not be good."
In March, Moore travelled to the Caribbean island with a group of emergency workers from New York's Ground Zero to see whether they would receive better care under the Castro regime than they had under George Bush. He had applied for permission to travel in October 2006 and received no reply.
In a letter dated May 2, the treasury department notified Moore that it was investigating him for unlicensed travel to Cuba, or, as the missive put it, engaging in "travel-related transactions involving Cuba."
Now team Moore is hitting back. Weinstein has hired an attorney, David Boies, who has lodged a request under the US freedom of information act to find out what motivated the treasury to begin its investigation. "They have to tell us why they did it and what they did," said Weinstein. "And they are not too happy about it."
Labels: Bush administration, films, Michael Moore, Sicko