Friday, May 11, 2012

Film Review: Pink Ribbons

Michele Wilson-Morris

Directed by veteran filmmaker Lea Pool for the National Film Board of Canada, Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a revealing and almost heart breaking look at the pink ribbons that are widely recognized as being supportive of the fight against breast cancer. But corporate greed seems to know no end, and certainly doesn't seem to have a conscience regardless of the seriousness of the cause, as long as they can increase their bottom line, and unfortunately, the pink ribbon movement is no exception to that. The trust and sincerity that we, who proudly display those ribbons and participate in walks/runs and anything else to support those with breast cancer, appears to have been betrayed both by the Susan G. Komen foundation, and big corporate interests, who add their names and products to the cause because of the huge revenues involved, but give back very little to the actual cancer survivors and research to find out what truly causes the disease. Stated bluntly, the pink ribbons and the Susan G. Komen foundation are a cash cow, and corporate America is cashing in. Sad, but true.

In interviews with Dr. Samantha King, whose book Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy was the inspiration for this film, and medical experts like Barbara A. Brenner, Dr. Charlene Elliott, Barbara Ehrenreich, Dr. Susan Love, and those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, we find that the "support" and fundraising isn't really funding better research, which makes one wonder if it's in Corporate America's best interest for a cure not to be found.

This film will touch your heart and emotions, and if after watching it, you're not stunned and somewhat demoralized, I'd be very surprised. Pink Ribbons, Inc. should be viewed by everyone who supports the fight against breast cancer and truly wants to see the disease wiped out. Pool hopes that the film will encourage people "to be more critical and more politically conscious about our actions to to stop thinking that by buying pink products, we're doing what needs to be done." I concur with her sentiments and add a very genuine and adamant, "So do I."

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