BAC - Ban Asbestos Canada

March 29, 2011 16:54 ET

Breathtaking: A Personal Investigation Into the Present-Day Use of Asbestos

A film directed by Kathleen Mullen

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 29, 2011) - A filmmaker loses her father to an asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma. Her grief and resolve lead her to examine a dangerous product so entwined in Canadian history and economy; we can't seem to stop mining it – or profiteering from it. The result is Breathtaking. Produced and directed by Kathleen Mullen, an Ontario filmmaker and director of programming for Planet in Focus. 

Breathtaking takes on the asbestos industry through a moving and personal investigation into the death of Kathleen's father from mesothelioma, and the present-day use of asbestos that has been banned from use in many countries. But Canada, along with Russia and several other countries, still mines asbestos and exports it for use in developing nations.

With moving clips of her dying father's legal testimony, family photos, and Super 8 home movies as a narrative springboard, Mullen takes the audience on an investigative journey from her family's home in B.C. to Quebec, India and Detroit, painting a global, yet still personal picture of the many lives affected by the continued use of asbestos.

"As I began Breathtaking, everyone to whom I mentioned I was making the film responded with a personal story of their own," Mullen says. "I soon realized that this story was a lot bigger than just my own family's grief."

This special screening is co-presented by the Ottawa & District Labour Council (ODLC) and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) and supported by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Canadian Building Trades, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), Women's Healthy Environments Network and Prevent Cancer Now (PCN).

The premiere screening will include special guests and remarks, including from MP Paul Dewar, who has been a tireless advocate to end Canadian production and use of asbestos.

A panel with director Kathleen Mullen and other special guests will follow the screening. Workers and their families who have been affected by asbestos are encouraged to attend the event.

Where: Ottawa Public Library, 120 Metcalfe St., Auditorium, Room 1A/1B

When: Monday, April 4, 7:00 p.m.

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