Pink Ribbons, Inc. a timely discourse

Pink Ribbons, Inc. next up for Williams Lake Film Club on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Please mark this date on your calendar, Tuesday, Feb. 21.

On this evening the Williams Lake Film Club will show its next film, Pink Ribbons, Inc., at the Gibraltar Room, starting at 7 p.m.

Pink Ribbons, Inc. is probably the most discussed film in Canada at this time.

And it is a truly Canadian film, directed by Léa Pool of Montreal for the National Film Board of Canada. The film is based on the ground-breaking book by Professor Dr. Samantha King from Queen’s University, Pink Ribbons, Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy.

Several studies have been done during the last few years on the contentious social history of breast cancer and the gulf between the reality of the disease and the high-profile perception of it.

In spite of the optimistic messages, breast cancer is not being beaten.

According to the film, in 1940 one woman out of 22 had a chance of developing breast cancer while today that figure is one out of eight, and often you even hear higher numbers like one out of four.

And the high profile of breast-cancer fundraising has less to do with its risk  (cardiac disease and lung cancer kill more women) than its marketability.

As Barbara Brenner of the activist group Breast Cancer Action puts it, breast cancer is the “poster child of cause marketing” because of its links to motherhood and women’s sexuality.

With women doing most household buying, they present a ready market for products riding on the breast cancer cause.

Just walk through any mall or big box store with wide open eyes checking for the pink ribbon — and you will be amazed.

You will see it on a huge number of products, even cars and the famous bucket.

And if you do not see the ribbon, you certainly will find the colour pink in as many cases.

Another point taken up in this documentary is the pep-rally mentality of many of the fundraising events.

“The message,” as one woman says, “is that if you just try really hard, you can beat it,” while those who died “were not trying very hard.”

This is an important film to see, for women but also for their partners, to understand the difficult dilemma they are facing. And you probably know that men can get breast cancer as well.

Léa Pool provides some no-nonsense clarity on a well-advertised, however, most often misunderstood disease.

Refreshments will be served after the screening. I am sure many of you will want to stay and discuss the topic.

There will be one screening only. Do not miss it!

Pink Ribbons, Inc., will be shown at the Gibraltar Room, starting at 7 p.m. Back doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Admission is $9 regular, $8 for film club members, $6 for seniors (65-plus) and students, high school and TRU.