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Me, the Bees and Cancer: Essentially an eccentric home movie about alternative medicine

A scene from Me, the Bees and Cancer.

1 out of 4 stars

Directed by
John Board, Hector Centeno, Jim Donovan

In May, 2012, Toronto filmmaker Ingrid Veninger put up $5,000 to finance the $1,000 Feature Film Challenge, or 1K Wave.

John Board, a 79-year-old veteran assistant film director (Naked Lunch, Atlantic City) won one of the grants with this proposal to follow his attempts to use "bee therapy" to treat his likely curable Stage 1 Hodgkins lymphoma. His alternative treatment includes getting stung on the tumour in his armpit up to 30 times every second day. The weaknesses here are less to do with limits of budget than logic.

Board is a sociable, talkative character and there are some memorably gruesome scenes of people getting stung around their eyes and under their tongues, but there's no coherent investigation or argument. That makes his film essentially an eccentric home movie promoting dubious alternative-medical advice.

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For the record, according to the American Cancer Society, some ingredients from bee products have shown anti-cancer and anti-inflammation properties in lab experiments, but there have been no clinical studies on humans proving their effectiveness.

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About the Author
Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More


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