Wednesday, September 26The Voice of London

International Bandana Day 2015: Nine Films About Cancer

International Bandana Day falls on the last Friday of October each year. Rather than just celebrating the accessory of choice for burly Harley Davidson riders (that might need a day in itself), this day was put together by the Australian youth organisation CanTeen to raise awareness for young people diagnosed with cancer.

Words: Lauren Burgess, Subeditor: Yasmin Harding

Source: Sofía Salom, Flickr
Source: Sofía Salom, Flickr

Bandanas often become symbolic of the disease because in many cases chemotherapy results in hair loss. To honour the day, we’ve decided to put together a list of some of the most heart-wrenching, tragic and darkly funny films about cancer.

1. The Fault In Our Stars (2014)
Two teenagers, Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort), meet in a cancer support group and fall in love. Their relationship is tested by the ravages of their disease and a journey to Amsterdam to meet a reclusive author.


2. Stepmom (1998)
Jackie (Susan Sarandon), a divorced mother of two, finds fault with everything her ex-husband’s new girlfriend does, particularly when it comes to caring for her children. The conflict only worsens when she discovers she has cancer and must learn to accept the woman who may have to fill her shoes.


3. 50/50 (2011)
27 year old radio writer Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. With help from his best friend, mother and young therapist, he learns to stop obsessing about his 50% chance of survival, and figure out what’s really important in life.


4. My Sister’s Keeper (2009)

11 year old Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) seeks help from lawyer Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) to earn emancipation from her parents who want her to donate a kidney to her older sister who has leukaemia.

5. Now Is Good (2012)
Tessa (Dakota Fanning) finds out that after four years of aggressive chemotherapy, her leukaemia is going to kill her. She decides to write a “bucket list” of things she feels she must do to have truly lived. Number one, lose her virginity.

6. P.S. I Love You (2007)
After losing her husband to cancer, young widow Holly (Hilary Swank) begins to receive the letters and gifts he left behind to guide her through her grief.


7. The Bucket List (2007)
Two terminally ill men, a working class mechanic (Morgan Freeman) and a billionaire (Jack Nicholson) develop an unlikely friendship while sharing a room in a cancer ward. They decide to break out and go on an adventure of a lifetime to complete their bucket lists.


8. My Life (1993)
An expectant father (Michael Keaton) finds out he has just months to live. He decides to pass on his wisdom to his future son through video recordings.


9. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
Teenager Greg spends his high-school life in shallow friendship groups while making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl on the weekends. Everything changes when his mum forces him to befriend a girl he knew from Hebrew school who has leukaemia.