Appearing to bestow on him the kind of free publicity that has made Michael Moore the best-known and best paid documentary filmmaker in the business, the U.S. Treasury Department has notified the filmmaker that it is conducting an investigation to determine whether he violated the U.S. trade embargo when he took a group of 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba for treatment. The Cuba journey is included in Moore's upcoming documentary about the U.S. health-care system, Sicko, due to debut at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19. According to the Associated Press the government notice said that the Treasury Department had "no record that a specific license was issued authorizing you to engage in travel-related transactions involving Cuba." The A.P. said that after receiving the notice, Moore placed a copy of his film in a "safe house" outside the country. Meanwhile, Daily Variety reported today (Thursday) that The Weinstein Co., which is releasing the film had hired Chris Lehane, Al Gore's press secretary during the 2000 campaign, and New York publicist Ken Sunshine to handle the expected flak from the health-care industry over the film. "If the HMOs strike, I'm going to need two guys who can strike back," Harvey Weinstein told Variety.




10/05/2007