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photo At My Mother's Breast
By Heather Watson-Burgess
National Film Board of Canada

The filmmaker's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all had breast cancer, so have two of her three aunts, and she has lived for most of her life with the knowledge that she might be next. Instead of reacting with denial, she decided to explore her feelings of grief and fear with the other women of her family. The result is an extraordinary portrait of a family of brave, strong women finding unity while facing a terrifying and tragic genetic legacy.

It is also, though, a touching and universal portrayal of the ups and downs of mother-daughter relationships. Through video diaries, intimate interviews, and up-close documentary footage of family get-togethers, the film weaves together a complex, poignant story of a family sharing tender moments of laughter, tears, compassion, and loss. Never allowing themselves to be cast as victims, these women, across four generations, have created a sisterhood of survival.

56 minutes
© 2005
Purchase $248 DVD
Order No. QA-435
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-819-7
close captioned

Reviews
"A powerful and revealing portrait of mothers and daughters, and the devastating generational legacy of breast cancer. Recommended." Video Librarian

"A personal, important, and honest documentary. Insight into how any genetic or even chronic life-threatening illness affects an entire family." Oncology Nursing Forum

Awards & Conference Screenings
Women's Film Festival, Vermont
Athens International Film & Video Festival

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One in Eight: Janice was 33 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is an irreverent and highly personal look at one woman's fight with a disease that affects one in eight women.

How Can We Love You?: Focuses on the feelings and experiences of women living with metastatic breast cancer through the stories of two women who traveled across North America performing in a play on the subject.

Look For Me Here: The final days in the life of a woman with metastatic cancer, who has chosen to forego further treatment, and to face death with friends and hospice care at home.

Tell Them You're Fine: Three fairly young people with cancer confront the day-to-day realities of coping with the impact of the disease, with therapy, and with the attitudes of family, friends and co-workers.

Beyond the Loss of the Breast: Explores the meaning and impact of metastatic breast cancer through the personal narratives and poetry of the filmmaker and two other women.


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