Tag Archives: screening

Love conquers in ‘Loving’

Jeff Nichols, sitting by the beach, was surprised to notice a curious calm amid the usually anxiety-ridden premiere experience at the Cannes Film Festival.

His film, Loving, is about Richard and Mildred Loving, the Virginia couple whose biracial marriage in 1958 led to a landmark Supreme Court decision on marriage equality.

“It’s not my story,” said the writer-director, whose previous films, including the Mississippi River coming-of-age tale Mud and the science-fiction thriller Midnight Special were original creations. “It’s their story.”

Loving, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, is told straightforwardly and simply. Although it has the context of a civil rights drama, it’s a portrait of a humble, unassuming love so steadfast that it eventually toppled one of the most odious legal remnants of slavery-era America — the ban against interracial marriages.

Without the standard Hollywood histrionics, the film patiently accumulates considerable force before finally overwhelming the viewer.

“No one moment adds up to the whole. But if you put them all together, hopefully, the weight of it gains this emotional density,” said Nichols. “Part of the cruelty of what was happening to them was time. Time was being taken away from them.”

The Lovings didn’t seek the spotlight, but their efforts to return home after being exiled from Virginia eventually led to the 1967 Supreme Court ruling of Loving vs. Virginia — a decision cited in the high court’s 2015 ruling on same-sex marriage.

Nichols and Edgerton believe the film has obvious significance at time when religious liberty laws and bathroom battles are being fought in the U.S.

“It’s kind of shameful to watch and look back and think 50 years ago that that was happening and yet it’s still very much relevant today,” says Edgerton. “Things are changing, obviously, but it’s weird to think we’ll look back in 20, 30 years’ time and say that law (gay marriage) changed in 2015.”

Of the many films in Cannes, Loving, which Focus Features will release during the heart of awards season in November, is among the most likely to garner significant attention from both moviegoers and the Academy Awards. The performances of Negga and Edgerton have already been widely hailed.

“This is the most important film I’ve made and it’s one of the most important films in history, I think,” Negga told reporters in Cannes. The Irish-Ethiopian actress — the first Nichols auditioned for the role — pursued the part fervently. “There was no alternative, really. I just really had to play her.”

Both actors drew from the famous images of the couple, who were photographed by Life magazine’s Grey Villet (Michael Shannon in the film) in 1966. The photographs captured their sweet, almost teenage-like manner together. In one, Richard — a buzz-cut blond country boy — lies with his head in Mildred’s lap while watching TV.

Nancy Buirski’s 2011 documentary The Loving Story was also a major inspiration.

“The court case is fascinating, but I just wanted to hang out in that documentary footage more,” says Nichols. “I wanted to go around the edges of it. I wanted to go around the corner of it.”

Avoiding inflated dramatics, Nichols and his cast sought to stay true to the Lovings, who effected change just by being.

“To me, it’s like this series of checkmates. It tends to move and be shut down. Move and be shut down. Have a voice and be stifled,” says Edgerton. “Finally when the Supreme Court decision releases that weight, it’s quite an overwhelming feeling. It’s a triumphant feeling, but when Richard proposed in the field, that should have been their right and freedom at that time.”

Richard Loving died in 1975, the victim of a drunk driver, and Mildred Loving died in 2008.

Loving may be a departure for Nichols in that it’s a true-life tale. But it continues the Arkansas native’s interest in the preservation of family amid elements out of one’s control.

Choosing to make the film, though, was easy enough. When he first shared the trailer of The Loving Story with his wife, she told him if he didn’t make it, she’d divorce him.

“That’s all she wrote. She didn’t sign off or anything,” recalled Nichols, chuckling.

 

EPA releases web-based environmental justice mapping tool

The EPA this month released EJSCREEN, a web-based environmental justice mapping and screening tool that provides information communities need to assess environmental and health problems and disparities.

EJSCREEN provides high resolution maps showing nationally-based demographic and environmental information that helps the user understand potential environmental justice issues in a particular area.

EJSCREEN only includes data available on a national scale but, according to the group Earthjustice, is an important first step in identifying and assisting communities overburdened with pollution.

People can access the tool through EPA’s website, www2.epa.gov/EJSCREEN.

Earthjustice, in a statement, said urged the EPA to strengthen the tools available to provide information and assess the health impacts and disparities of pollution and environmental problems at the community level.

EPA first committed to create a national environmental justice screening tool as part of its Plan EJ 2014, the environmental justice strategic plan created by former administrator Lisa Jackson. 

Earlier this year, together with over 40 community groups from around the United States, Earthjustice submitted a letter to the administrator emphasizing the importance of releasing EJSCREEN for public input and use as soon as possible.

Earthjustice legislative counsel Stephanie Maddin said, “We are delighted to see that EPA has released the first-ever national screening tool for environmental justice. We know that too many communities in the United States, particularly communities of color and low-income communities, face extra, harmful pollution from sources like oil refineries, and EJSCREEN will help shine important light on this unfairness.”

UWM French film festival prompts cultural dialogue

Fabienne Bullot knew she had found a city of kindred spirits when she left the 2013 Milwaukee Film Festival screening of Earth. The visiting assistant professor of French at UWM had been pleased, shortly after her arrival in Milwaukee, to learn Milwaukee Film would be screening Ukrainian film director Alexander Dovzhenko’s silent Soviet-era film about the process of collectivism, with live musical accompaniment by postrock band Group of the Altos. But she was more pleased when the film received a thunderous standing ovation.

“I immediately thought, ‘This is a city of movie lovers,’” says Bullot. “It seems to me that the political, social, and economic history of the city is what makes it unique in the States. It is a very diverse, open, and lively city where film is right at home.”

Such recognition was critical to Bullot, a native Parisienne who is coordinating UWM’s Festival of Films in French. Now entering its 18th year, the festival offers 17 diverse films from France or French-speaking countries over a 10-day period: Feb. 6-Feb. 15. All films will be shown for free at UWM’s Union Theatre.

The film series, which looks at a variety of social issues, provides an opportunity for significant cultural and political discourse, says Bullot, who established the French Theater Workshop while at Smith College and is currently researching the history of French political cinema. Among the topics addressed are an increasingly multicultural France, women’s lives, the commemoration of World War I and LGBT issues. 

But while those issues are shared by only small groups of films, Bullot says there’s one thread all the films in the program have in common: “They all respond in a variety of ways to the question, ‘How can we represent reality?’”

Two of the films — The Night is Young and Tom at the Farm — are sponsored by the LGBT Film/Video Festival. Their inclusion demonstrates not only the festival’s diversity but also the cross-pollination among various departments at UWM in contributing to the festival’s content, Bullot says.

“(LGBT Film Festival director) Carl Bogner and I share the same passion for film and the same desire for freedom and discovery in film,” Bullot says. 

The Night is Young, featuring a young Juliette Binoche, is director Leos Carax’s second film. Filmed at the height of the AIDS crisis, it is the first French film to reference AIDS, in the form of a similar virus called STBO that affects the lead characters. 

“It became a cult classic because it is a poetic thriller that shunned the commercial aesthetic popular in 1980s cinema and is full of ‘quotes’ from other films that film buffs have had fun identifying,” Bullot says. 

Tom at the Farm is a more recent film by the young filmmaker Xavier Dolan and has never been screened in Milwaukee, although other works by Dolan — including Laurence Anyways — have been shown at the LGBT Film/Video Festival and Milwaukee Film Festival. It’s a psychological thriller about a gay man who visits the family of his deceased lover, unsure if they are aware of their late son’s sexual orientation. The film is set in a rural landscape very similar to Wisconsin, which hides brutal secrets. 

Among the festival’s other highlights are the films of director Jean-Pierre Thorn, whose works are rarely shown in the United States.

Pleasure to the People and 93 Beautiful Rebel, the two films being shown, stress multicultural themes in contemporary France and “the creativity and energy of French youth, whose spirit French society has persistently tried to break through its scorn,” Bullot says.

“Thorn’s films challenge the discourse of the powerful,” she adds. “These documentaries are nothing like the ones shown on television: There is no hidden camera, no voice-over by a Hollywood actor, no specialists next to potted plants talking about the world. Thorn’s camera watches and listens to people and spaces, their desires, their energy. It does justice to its subjects.”

Thorn himself will appear at the festival to introduce his films and participate in talkbacks after their screenings. The showing of 93 Beautiful Rebel, which chronicles France’s contemporary hip-hop culture, will also be accompanied by a live hip-hop dance featuring local Milwaukee groups, what Bullot says is a first for the festival.

Thorn also will travel to UW-Madison to screen his films and lead a master class, Bullot said. The director’s contemporary themes echo the recent terrorist killings of Charlie Hebdo journalists in France, she added.

“I spoke with (Thorn) on the phone after the terrorist attacks, and he said he had been in touch with many of the people who have appeared in his films and who are particularly concerned by the recent events,” Bullot said. “He will share their reactions and his own analysis of the situation as an activist filmmaker who has always fought the good fight with festival-goers.”

Social commentaries always play an important role in the festival, but there are also silent films, comedies, thrillers, a road movie and a film based on a comic book. There will also be a few “crowd-pleasers,” designed as a convenient bridge for those less familiar with French cinema.

“Festival fans will come in great numbers to see films with Catherine Deneuve, Josh Charles or Juliette Binoche, because they know these actors,” Bullot says. “But they will probably be surprised by the performances given by them and the tone of the comedy-dramas in which they appear.”

NOW SCREENING

UWM’s 18th annual Festival of Films in French will run Feb. 6-Feb. 15 at the UWM Union Theatre, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. Screenings are free and open to the public, and a full schedule can be found at uwm.edu/french-film-schedule. 

Justice Department releases guidelines against profiling by feds

The Obama administration issued guidelines on Dec. 8 that restrict the ability of federal law enforcement agencies to profile on the basis of religion, national origin and other characteristics, protocols the Justice Department hopes could be a model for local departments as the nation tackles questions about the role race plays in policing.

The policy, which replaces decade-old guidelines established under the Bush administration, also will require federal agencies to provide training and to collect data on complaints.

Civil rights advocates said they welcomed the broader protections, but were disappointed that the guidance will exempt security screening in airports and border checkpoints and won’t be binding on local and state police agencies.

“It’s so loosely drafted that its exceptions risk swallowing any rule and permit some of the worst law enforcement policies and practices that have victimized and alienated American Muslim and other minority communities,” Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, said in a statement. “This guidance is not an adequate response to the crisis of racial profiling in America.”

Though the policy – five years in the making – was not drafted in response to recent high-profile cases involving the deaths of black individuals at the hands of white police officers, it’s nonetheless being released amid an ongoing national conversation about standards for police use of force, racial justice and the treatment of minorities by law enforcement.

“Particularly in light of certain recent incidents we’ve seen at the local level – and the widespread concerns about trust in the criminal justice process which so many have raised throughout the nation – it’s imperative that we take every possible action to institute strong and sound policing practices,” said Attorney General Eric Holder, referring to the August shooting by a white police officer of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, and the chokehold death weeks earlier of a man in New York City.

Holder, who has made the release of the guidelines a priority before leaving the Justice Department next year, called the guidelines a “major and important step forward to ensure effective policing” by federal law enforcement.

The policy extends a prohibition on routine racial profiling that the Justice Department announced in 2003 under then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. Civil rights groups have long said those rules left open too many loopholes by allowing an exemption for national security and by failing to extend the ban to characteristics beyond race and ethnicity. The new guidelines would end the carve-out on national security investigations and widen the profiling curbs to prohibit the practice on the basis of religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The rules cover federal agencies within the Justice Department, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They also extend to local and state officers serving on task forces alongside federal agents. Some activities of the Department of Homeland Security are covered, such as civil immigration enforcement, though border and airport security screening are exempt along with interdictions at ports of entry.

The policy was laid out in a memo that provides concrete examples of law enforcement actions that would and would not be permissible. The memo makes clear that agents may take race, ethnicity and other factors into account during investigations in limited circumstances, such as if they have information linking a person of a particular characteristic to a specific crime.

That means, for instance, that if U.S. Park Police officers are told to be on the lookout for a fleeing bank robbery suspect of a particular race and gender, they’d be permitted to use those factors in deciding which drivers to pull over on a highway.

Still, the policy’s practical impact remains to be seen, especially since local police officers are the ones primarily responsible for traffic stops, 911 calls and day-to-day interactions with the communities they patrol. Though not binding on local agencies, the Obama administration views the guidelines as a roadmap, with Holder encouraging local law enforcement officials to adopt the federal policy.

The administration would welcome “any decision that’s made by local law enforcement to apply these policies at the state and local level as well,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Monday.

Some advocacy groups for minority communities said the new guidelines didn’t go far enough, in part because they don’t cover state and local law enforcement and would still permit circumstances in which religion and national origin can be taken into account. Muslim Advocates, a national organization, noted that federal law enforcement would still be permitted to “map communities based on race, ethnicity or religion” and use that information to recruit informants.

“You can’t be against profiling in some contexts but for it in other contexts,” said Rajdeep Singh, policy director of the Sikh Coalition.

Some also complained about the airport and border exemptions for the Department of Homeland Security, which agency officials attributed to “the unique nature of border and transportation security as compared to traditional law enforcement.”

“This does not mean that officers and agents are free to profile,” the department said in a statement. “To the contrary, DHS’ existing policies make it categorically clear that profiling is prohibited,” while allowing for limited circumstances in which race, ethnicity and other characteristics could be considered.

James Franco to receive ally award at Miami LGBT film fest

The Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival will honor actor-author-director James Franco with an ally award on April 27 at the Olympia Theater in downtown Miami.

The festival runs April 26-May 5.

Franc Castro, executive director of the MGLFF, said Franco’s “multi-faceted talents coupled with his contributions to LGBT film both in front of the camera and behind the scenes have helped shine the spotlight on LGBT cinema and a filmmaker’s right to free expression.”

Franco’s metamorphosis into the title role of the TNT biopic “James Dean” earned him career-making reviews, as well as a Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture made for television.

Franco earned an Independent Spirit Award, as well as nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award and recognition from numerous critics’ associations for his starring role in Danny Boyle’s critically acclaimed drama “127 Hours.”

His performance alongside Sean Penn in Gus Van Sant’s “Milk” earned an Independent Spirit Award and he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in David Gordon Green’s comedy “Pineapple Express.”

Franco is currently starring in Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful” and Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers.”

Franco’s next film, “Interior. Leather Bar.” recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will make its Southeast Premiere at the MGLFF on April 28 in Miami Beach. Franco’s co-director, Travis Mathews, will be in attendance at the screening and accept the HBO Latin America Vanguard Award for his innovation as a filmmaker who pushes the boundaries of conventional story telling.

Campaign waged to change MPAA’s ‘R’ rating for ‘Bully’

Katy Butler knows how it feels to be bullied.

When she was 12, four boys came up behind her, called her names, shoved her into a wall, slammed a locker on her hand and broke her finger. “I held back tears while I watched them run away laughing,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do so I stood there, alone and afraid.”

Katy Butler of Ann Arbor, Mich., is now in high school, where she had hoped that she and classmates might see a screening of a documentary due out in late March called “Bully.” The film’s distributor, the Weinstein Company, wants to screen the film in middle and high schools across America.

But the Motion Picture Association of America gave an “R” rating to “Bully,” meaning no one under the age of 17 should see the movie without an accompanying parent or adult guardian.

The MPAA says of an “R” rating: “Restricted. Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian. An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.”

The rating of “Bully” raises questions about whether schools will be allowed to screen the film, which explores an epidemic of harassment and violence among the young in the United States. The “R” apparently stems from course language in the documentary.

The filmmakers are lobbying the MPAA to change the rating to PG-13, but have lost one appeal.

Butler, for her part, has launched a Change.org campaign.

“I can’t believe the MPAA is blocking millions of teenagers from seeing a movie that could change – and, in some cases, save – their lives,” she said. “According to the film’s Website, over 13 million kids will be bullied this year alone. Think of how many of these kids could benefit from seeing this film, especially if it is shown in schools?”

Her petition, as of early Feb. 29, had more than 129,000 signatures.

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Protests force Komen retreat on Planned Parenthood

Petitions, protests and pledges forced the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to apologize and retreat on its controversial  decision to defund cancer prevention programs at Planned Parenthood clinics.

But a week after the furor reached its peak, doubts lingered as to whether the nation’s leading breast-cancer charity could fully recover from the fallout.

Debate over whether right-wing politics played a role in Komen’s initial decision continued, as did scrutiny of other Komen policies, such as its position on stem-cell research.  Attention focused on the political interest and associations of Komen leaders, including Karen Handel, who resigned as  VP of public policy on Feb. 7.

The Komen-Planned Parenthood partnership began in 2005, with Komen money paying for some breast exams and mammogram referrals for low-income women at Planned Parenthood.

On Jan. 31, Komen said it was eliminating grants for Planned Parenthood because of a policy adopted in late 2011 that prohibits Komen from funding groups under government investigation.

“We regret that these new policies have impacted some longstanding grantees, such as Planned Parenthood, but want to be absolutely clear that our grant-making decisions are not about politics,” the foundation stated.

But while at least three Komen grant recipients, including Penn State, are under investigation, only one Komen partner, Planned Parenthood, was cut. Last September, Planned Parenthood came under a congressional review by U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., an abortion-rights foe who was responding to the right-wing claim that the health service used federal funding to subsidize abortions, a charge the national office and its affiliates say is false.

Stephanie M. Wilson of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin dismissed the Stearns investigation as “politically motivated … the latest effort by some extreme Republican leaders to undermine Planned Parenthood and restrict women’s access to essential preventative health care, like cancer screenings and contraceptive services.”

Wilson said Planned Parenthood routinely works with government regulators and independent auditors to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations regarding funding.

The reaction

Within 24 hours of Komen’s defunding announcement, the organization’s Facebook page contained more than 10,000 comments, most of them from people denouncing Komen for putting politics over health care. 

“I’m seeing red, not pink these days. I’ve walked for the Cure for years, but the next cancer event I do will be the Relay for Life,” Pauline Herrick of Madison wrote, referring to the American Cancer Society’s signature event.

The fallout brought more than a torrent of angry words: Komen affiliates appealed to their headquarters to reverse the decision. A coalition of 26 U.S. Senators urged reconsideration. The American Association of University Women called off its Komen for the Cure race. Pro-Planned Parenthood demonstrators gathered near Komen headquarters in Dallas on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, circulated online petitions and rallied across the country to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Planned Parenthood fill any funding gap. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered up to $250,000 in a matching-grant pledge.

Komen grants – nearly $700,000 in 2011 – paid for about 4.3 percent of the 4 million breast exams and 9 percent of the 70,000 mammogram referrals provided at Planned Parenthood clinics in the past five years.

“Women are deeply alarmed that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure from a vocal minority,” Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, said the day after the announcement. “For years, opponents of women’s health have waged an aggressive pressure campaign aimed at the Susan G. Komen Foundation at the expense of women’s health and lives.”

PPAW, a health care provider to 67,250 women, is not a recent Komen grant partner, but it received funding in the past. However, the Wisconsin group has become a target of right-wing politicking. Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2011 eliminated funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings and birth control services at Planned Parenthood and terminated a contract with PPAW to coordinate cancer screenings and referrals in the Fox Valley earlier this year.

Atkinson said, “We will continue, despite these political attacks, to serve the women and families in Wisconsin who rely on Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for access to quality affordable health care and accurate, non-judgmental information.”

Many critics of Komen focused last week on the role of anti-abortion advocate Handel, who went to work for the charity last April as senior vice president of public policy.

In an article on The Atlantic website, three unnamed sources alleged the Komen board deliberately created the new policy to provide an excuse to terminate the Planned Parenthood partnership.

Those sources also said the funding cut was driven by Handel, whose Twitter profile reads, “Lifelong Conservative Republican formerly Georgia’s first Republican Secretary of State.”

As a 2010 gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, she won the endorsement of former VP candidate Sarah Palin, presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Handel was one of Palin’s “Mama Grizzly” candidates, but she lost her primary runoff with Nathan Deal, who went on to win the office.

Handel campaigned as an anti-abortion candidate, pledging in a Web post, “I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood. … In fact, state and federal law prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for abortions or abortion-related services, and I strongly support those laws. Since grants like these are from the state I’ll eliminate them as your next governor.”

Handel, last week, was not accessible to the press. But the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a Tweet from her account said, “Just like a pro-abortion group to turn a cancer org’s decision into a political bomb to throw. Cry me a freaking river.”

Handel became an instant martyr on the religious right. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, a designated hate group,  hailed her as a hero for “standing in the gap” against “the enemy.”

Critics of Komen also focused on CEO and founder Nancy G. Brinker, an ambassador to Hungary and chief of protocol of the United States for George W. Bush.

Two years ago, Brinker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Democrat Barack Obama, but her political ties are clearly to the GOP. Her federal political contributions include Rick Santorum, Bill Frist, John McCain, Mel Martinez, Arlen Specter, Clay Shaw, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Pete Sessions, the Republican National Committee, Republican Leadership Council and the presidential exploratory committee of Elizabeth Dole.

Damage control

Komen’s first effort at containing damages was a Web video featuring Brinker titled “Setting the Record Straight.”

Brinker said the new grant policy was mischaracterized and that Komen was seeking to streamline its grant program, seeking to directly fund centers that provide mammograms rather than referrals.

Komen would never bow to political pressure, Brinker vowed.

But Komen could not suppress the protests.

Pledges continued to Planned Parenthood – the organization raised a reported $3 million in three days last week. Activists were organizing demonstrations and the social media missiles continued.

Early Feb. 3, the Komen board issued a statement: “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives. The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends, and all of us at Susan G. Komen.”

Komen clarified that grants can be withheld from organizations under investigation, but such investigations “must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.”

Planned Parenthood and its supporters cheered the news.

Abortion foes said Komen caved. Evangelist Bill Keller warned of “the wrath and punishment of God unleashed on this wicked nation at any moment.”

And Handel resigned. She wrote to Brinker on Feb. 7, “I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it. I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve. However, the decision to update our granting model was made before I joined Komen, and the controversy related to Planned Parenthood has long been a concern to the organization. Neither the decision nor the changes themselves were based on anyone’s political beliefs or ideology.”

Future funding

Yet questions about Komen continue: How secure is Planned Parent-hood funding? And did Komen, despite denials, initially attempt to appease its anti-choice executive and the right?

Close readers of Komen’s Feb. 3 statement say the organization’s plan for Planned Parenthood is an open question.

And another Komen policy statement in line with anti-abortion organizations suggests a right tilt and politics trumping breast-cancer research.

In a decision last November that received far less attention, the organization issued a position on stem cell research: “Susan G. Komen for the Cure has never funded human embryonic stem cell research nor does Komen currently fund H-ESCR. Komen supports research on the isolation, derivation, production and testing of stem cells that are capable of producing all or almost all of the cell types of the developing body and may result in improved understanding of or treatments for breast cancer, but are derived without creating a human embryo or destroying a human embryo.”

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