September 26th, 2011

Pink Ribbons, Inc.

Women and Hollywood

Next week starts the annual pinkification of canceróbreast cancer awareness month.  Now I donít want to take anything away from any woman who is figuring out a way to fight and survive this horrible scourge, but donít you think that this whole happy pink cancer world has just gone too far?  Talk to any woman who actually has had breast cancer and you will learn very quickly that this is nothing pretty or pink about it.

Thatís what the new documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival shows us.  It digs in to how breast cancer has been corporatized and made to look prettier than the devastating disease it is.  One person in the film calls the way we deal with breast cancer the ďtyranny of cheerfulness.Ē The film shows women fighting the disease who are in stage 4 and who feel that this way of dealing with breast cancer has made their fight invisible.

It takes a long time but towards the end it gets to the kicker that for all the fundraising and walks we still are not making enough forward progress in preventing the disease.  Also the company that started breast cancer awareness monthóAstraZenecaóis the company that makes Astrazine which causes cancer and has been banned in Europe (you will hear more about this when I write about Last Call at the Oasis).  And Revlon, who has given millions for cancer and is the leading corporation in this movement, has carcinogens in their products.  Whoops.  And it talks about for all the money that has been raised to prevent breast cancer a lot by people who have survived this disease according to Dr. Susan Love, we are still fighting it in the same way as we have for 30 years by slash, burn and poison.

Itís one of the docs where you see whatís behind the wizardís curtain and quite frankly what is there is not pretty nor pink.

Director Lťa Pool and producer Ravida Din answered some questions by email about the film (which still needs a US distributor).

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