Sunday, May 18, 2008

In the Family

In October 2008, PBS POV (documentaries with a Point of View) will air Chicago filmmaker Joanna Rudnick's In the Family.

When Joanna tested positive for the "breast cancer gene" at age 27, she knew the information could save her life. She also knew that she would have to make heart-wrenching decisions about whether or not to remove her breasts and ovaries, or risk developing cancer. In the Family is a moving document of one young woman's struggles, and her efforts to reach out to other women while facing her deepest fears. Joanna Rudnick chronicles the lives of several women currently undergoing the process of genetic testing -- following them from their decision to seek testing, through the testing process, and in the aftermath when they are coming to terms with the information they receive. These stories of the first generation of women to live with the knowledge that they are predisposed to a life-threatening disease will teach us what it means to survive a diagnosis of high risk without being consumed or defined by it. They will help us to understand the psychological, legal, ethical, cultural and social complexities of genetic testing for a mutation, which affects the entire family, for which there is no cure, and wherein the only treatments currently available involve enormous quality-of-life sacrifices.

There was a sneak preview of the film this weekend at the FORCE conference in Tampa, FL. DVDs were sold at the event, so I am frantically trying to obtain a copy. The response to the film was outstanding!

Watch the trailer...and have your kleenex ready.

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