Men pay big money to see bare breasts in Busting Out.
BREAST FEST FILM FESTIVAL at the Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queen’s Park), Friday to Sunday (November 19 to 21). See Indie & Rep Film.
LIVING DOWNSTREAM (Chanda Chevannes). 85 minutes. Screens Sunday (November 21), 10 am. Rating: NNN
If you think we've come a long way with regard to cancer awareness and the disease's root causes, Living Downstream will set you straight.
It follows biologist/bladder cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber as she travels the world for a year trying to convince audiences of the environmental causes of cancer.
Inspired by Silent Spring author Rachel Carson, whose book made her famous and who testified to the problem of pesticides in Congress but never disclosed that she herself had breast cancer, Steingraber speaks before hostile audiences and interviews scientists determined to publicize the truth: industry's casual disposal of chemicals is killing people.
This is a conventional documentary that uses a soundtrack of surging strings to terrible effect, but it's an excellent primer on an essential issue.
BUSTING OUT (Francine Strickwerda, Laurel Spellman). 56 minutes. Screens Friday (November 19), 8 pm. Rating: NNN
Francine Strickwerda's love letter to her mother, who died of breast cancer when the director was seven years old, is a scattered look at Western culture's obsession with women's breasts.
It may be all over the place, but Busting Out does raise some fascinating points. According to Strickwerda, in only 13 cultures world?wide are breasts eroticized, and she suggests that our very sense of breasts as an erogenous zone may be a social construct.
Whether you buy the ideas or not, when hordes of guys scream, "Show us your rack" on the sidelines of a demo by female activists, you get a clear handle on why so many women go through sometimes dangerous operations to get just the right mammaries.
Warning: explicit scenes of women's breast surgeries.