The Dirty War on the National Health Service

The Dirty War on the National Health Service

John Pilger (2019)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Opening and closing with the hymn "Jerusalem", The Dirty War on the National Health Service sees Australian documentarian and journalist John Pilger make an impassioned case for Britain's "last bastion of true public service" in a gut-wrenching film he describes as a "warning". The disastrous results of the NHS' privatisation by stealth are laid out through shocking statistics and compelling case studies. We're taken through the history of a beloved institution, politicians across the spectrum are blamed for its dismantling, healthcare professionals speak eloquently and sometimes emotionally in its defence, while sojourns to America give a taste of what may be to come, including extraordinary testimony from insurance company whistle-blowers. Pilger is a constant, typically authoritative, slightly doom-laden presence. The no-frills format means his latest suffers by comparison to Michael Moore's more engaging Sicko; with little to elevate it cinematically, it will perhaps find its natural home on the small screen, where it deserves to reach a wide audience. Most of the information isn't new or particularly revelatory but, presented as a whole in such a stark and persuasive fashion, it's deeply troubling.

Cast & Crew

John Pilger John Pilger
Director John Pilger

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Dartmouth FilmsReleased on: 29 Nov 2019