TORONTO (Reuters) – Pink ribbons dumb down the grim realities of treating cancer, and hide the profit-focused core of many high-profile fund-raising events, according to a movie that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this week.
“Pink Ribbons, Inc.” takes a detailed look at some of the colorful fundraising events in North America, where women, united in their fight against breast cancer and mostly dressed in pink, cheer their way along scenic routes.
“I think it’s still not a bad idea, but I was very afraid of all the corporations and how they hijacked the disease and how they made profits out of that, and how there is pink-washing in the process of doing fund-raising.”
Showing at the festival weeks before Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as cancer charities have dubbed October, “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” pleads with fund-raisers to think about where the money they raise will go, and asks organizers to be more open.
It questions the logic of focusing on cancer treatment rather than prevention, pointing out that pharmaceutical companies stand to gain if more people use their drugs, and urges more research on the environmental factors that may contribute to breast cancer.
Some of the most moving scenes of the 97-minute movie center on discussions among a group of women with Stage IV breast cancer, when the disease has spread to such an extent that doctors cannot offer the possibility of effective treatment.
Pool and producer Ravida Din, who finished treatment for breast cancer soon before starting work on the movie, said they did not want their film to discourage people from raising money for anti-cancer causes.
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