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Review: Pink Ribbons, Inc.

Documenting hypocrisy in the breast-cancer awareness movement
By MILES BOWE  |  June 19, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

Near the end of this documentary a woman calls the pink ribbon of breast cancer-awareness a "made in China" tag. The comparison may sound offensive, but after the preceding 90 minutes examining hypocrisy in the breast-cancer awareness movement, you realize that she's actually being polite. Bringing together interviews with frustrated activists, doctors, and writers, Léa Pool's documentary calls out companies less concerned with meaningful cancer research or patient support than with using the disease as a marketing tool to sell products affixed with the pink ribbon even, it's suggested, cosmetics that contain carcinogens. Meanwhile, the CEO of fundraising giant Komen responds to accusations that they're more concerned with raising millions of dollars, by any means, than in finding intelligent ways to spend it. Painful interviews with stage-four breast cancer patients are juxtaposed with footage of music-pumping, product-pushing cancer walks. Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a valuable eye-opener about an important movement that has become distressingly commodified.

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