This could be the most important documentary of the year. Forget that: of the decade. You might say that it goes against conventional wisdom, except that this isn't wisdom, really: just conventional, follow-the-leader, lemming-like behavior in the quest for a feel-good quick fix. In any case, the film is going to be extremely unpopular among the powers-that-be in the corporate and medical world.
PINK RIBBONS, INC., the new documentary from Canadian film-maker Léa Pool, shown at right, is likely to make those people apoplectic even a few minutes into the movie. Not that Ms Pool or any of her many interviewees ever raises their voice. No. These people are quiet, concerned, informed -- and fed up. As you may be, too, once you've watched the movie in its entirety.
Barbara Ehrenreich (above, who leads off this fine film) quietly explains, "The effect of the whole pink ribbon culture has been to drain and deflect the kind of militancy we had...." As the movie points out, with specifics that encompass psychology, sociology, economics and politics, the breast cancer movement has changed from activism to feel-good consumerism.
Barbara A. Brenner, below, ex-Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action, says about a certain company's yogurt campaign is highly instructive, while what we learn about the Kentucky Fried Chicken campaign is downright shocking). Even Niagra Falls and the Empire State Building go pink! Starting back in the 1970s -- with the Reagan administration's push toward "private" and "business" solutions to health, social welfare and charity -- the film moves on to the Pink Campaign's selectively leaving out those women who are dying via Stage 4 Breast cancer (come on, this campaign is about surviving, not death!), quietly and effectively raising your hackles in the process.
Eli Lily who appear to be working both sides of the street, you'll be ready to cry uncle. After watching this 97-minute documentary, TrustMovies has come up with a couple of slight rhymes that he plans to live by from now on:
Or, to put it even more succinctly by quoting the objective of this compassionate, well-reasoned documentary: to persuade the word's citizenry to simply "Think before you pink."
First Run Features, will open this Friday, June 1 in New York City (at the IFC Center) and in the Los Angeles area (at Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex and Playhouse 7), and will begin a limited release that will hit at least 20 more cities across the country in the weeks to come. Click here to see all currently scheduled playdates.