Gaza Film Exposes Deadly Breast Cancer Taboos

Animated movie is based on young Palestinian who died
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 8, 2009 9:12 AM CDT
The animated Palestinian movie "Fatenah" follows the story of young woman trying to get treatment for breast cancer.   (Dar Film Production)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A heart-wrenching Gaza cartoon inspired by a real-life case follows the story of a young Palestinian woman in a refugee camp who dies of breast cancer because of cultural squeamishness about female bodies and difficulty obtaining health care. One doctor in the animated film Fatenah tells the woman, who's worried about a breast lump, to loosen her underwear, while another counsels that it will disappear once she's married.

"It's very taboo to speak about the woman's body in Palestinian society, but in the film it happens and nobody criticizes and nobody says anything about it," said the film's producer, Saed Andoni. He believes the fact that the film is animated "softened the harshness of the topic" and helped people view it with a more open mind. The father of the 28-year-old woman whose death inspired the film wept when he watched it.