Pink Ribbons

Here is a very interesting documentary coming out in YYC on Feb. 3, 2012.  Check out this trailer:

I want to be careful how I mention this film as I know many many people who are members of the PINK POSSE and probably would struggle with any critique of it.

However, I do remember a brief interview on CBC a while back in which the interviewer was talking with a representative of “lesser known cancer” demographic (maybe it was the face cancer group or whatever) but they were strong opponents to much of the way corporate and public donations are raised for cancer research and prevention.  The interviewee felt strongly that marketing created “sexy” cancers (my term…not his) and that these cancers generated a vastly disproportionate amount of dollars raised and were also the least likely cancers to cause death in patients.  There were several more difficult and life-threatening cancers that needed research support but couldn’t compete with the “machine” of organized cancer fundraising.

The brutal fact is that “a” solution to many types of cancer is simply to cut it out from the body – i’m talking about breast cancers, prostate cancers, and others – and this radically reduces the health risks and concern.  While there are other types of cancers where this is simply not an option and due to the increased difficulty of treatment they also do not get the same funding attention.  All cancer is horrible and difficult to handle and even harder to understand… but the critique that we’re focusing too much attention on the wrong types of cancer seems to hold water. “Pink Ribbons” may not explore this concept directly but it does promise to give an in-depth and critical look at the marketing engine of breast cancer and the role of PR, marketing and self-serving cause-marketing in modern medicine – the ‘pink washing’ of consumerism.

Check it out if you can.  It is playing at the Globe Cinema on Friday Feb. 3, 2012 @ 12:00pm

Here’s the film synopsis from the National Film Board of Canada:

Pink Ribbons, Inc. (Trailer) *In theatres February 3, 2012* –

For more information on this film, please visit our Pink Ribbons, Inc. page. Breast cancer has become the poster child of cause-related marketing campaigns – people walk, run and shop for the cure. Each year, millions of dollars are raised in the name of breast cancer, but where does this money go and what does it actually achieve? And what happens when a company engages in pinkwashing? Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a feature documentary that shows how the devastating reality of breast cancer, which marketing experts have labeled a “dream cause,” has been hijacked by a shiny, pink story of success.

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