SIFF Week 3– Pink Ribbons Inc


Synopsis: Provocative documentary that criticizes breast cancer charities and “pink washing,” and shows that little is being done to help the actual disease.

Origin: Canada

Release: 2011

Director: Lea Pool

Writers: Lea Pool, Patricia Kearns, Nancy Guern


I am starting out in the non profit field. I knew about SKF and the infamous KFC bucket of 2010. I also already knew that most Race for the Cure walks don’t raise a lot of money for research. Most of it goes towards actually putting on the event, and getting sponsors.

This movie outraged me. In a good way.  I’m glad that Lea Pool made it, as I’m hoping it opens people’s eyes about SKF and Avon as charities that only care about “pink washing.” and establishing a brand. They’re become corporations. Only 15% of all the Race/Cure walks and AVON walks go towards actual research for breast cancer. However, much of the research are duplicate studies.

I believe that the woman and man that are walking for these charities mean well.. Two of the main messages of the film were “Think before you Pink,” and educate yourself.

It was a hard documentary because I have  a history of breast cancer that runs in my family. My grandmother on my dad’s side got it very late in life, and lost a breast. I’m sure everyone has been affected or has known someone with cancer though.

I did find out that there are special Stage IV cancer support groups. One of them said “There is no Stage V,” which reminded me of a line in Beginners that Ewan McGregor said in one scene to Christopher Plummer. The women also appreciated not being the “angel of death” in other stages of cancer support groups.

It did not go into the recent Planned Parenthood fiasco as that happened very recently, and the film had already been shot.

This is one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in years. PLEASE see it if it comes to a theater near you.  Right now, it’s playing the festival circuit but will be released widely in Landmark Theatres over the next few months.



2 thoughts on “SIFF Week 3– Pink Ribbons Inc

  1. I’m glad you reviewed this and liked it so much. I hate all that pink-washing stuff, charities that are really corporations, etc., and sometimes when I’ve mentioned that, people look at me like I’m the devil. So many people just don’t understand the situation. Hopefully, this movie will enlighten a lot of folks!

  2. I’m hoping Stacy! People look at me like I killed their cat when I say that I don’t support breast cancer walks. In issues of health non profits, I’d much rather see my $$ go towards finding an actual cure. Starting out in this field has left with me a healthy dose of skepticism on all non profit organizations, but especially SKF and Avon. I really relly HATE them.

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