Pink Ribbons, Inc.
Breast cancer claims the lives of more than 59,000 women each year in North America alone, and it's estimated that one in eight women will be impacted by the disease in their lifetime. Awareness of breast cancer has grown by leaps and bounds since the 1970s, and the familiar pink ribbon has become a symbol of the struggle to find better treatment options and a cure for the disease. However, while the many people who take part in high-profile fund-raising efforts such as the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure event are clearly sincere in their desire to help, a growing number are questioning the way corporate influence and politics have become part of the campaign against breast cancer. The fight against breast cancer was once seen as a feminist issue, but many have attempted to give the movement a "friendlier," more neutral image, and a number of companies use the campaign as a way to hawk "pinkwashed" products, some of which have negative health consequences. And as the breast cancer movement tries to send out a positive message of hope, the rate of new cases keeps increasing, and for all the money that's been raised, the cause of the disease remains unknown. Filmmaker Léa Pool examines the history of breast cancer activism, how a devastating illness became a marketing opportunity, and how a small but vocal number of people are working to change the conversation about cancer in women in the documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. Adapted from the book by Samantha King, Pink Ribbons, Inc. was an official selection at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.