Big Ideas presented by Scotia Wealth Management: Toxic Beauty


Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Sun, Apr 28, 2019 6:30 PM
CC | Tickets: $24
Film Info
Country Listing:Canada
Premiere Status:World Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Program Category:Special Events & Big Ideas Series
Film Subjects:Capitalism & Big Business
Crime & Justice
Health & Healthcare
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Phyllis Ellis
Producer(s):Peter Raymont
Barri Cohen
Executive Producer(s):Steve Ord
Cheryl Staurulakis
Peter Raymont
Editor(s):James Yates
Cinematography:Iris Ng


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Featuring director Phyllis Ellis, whistleblower Deane Berg, and Drs. Daniel Cramer and Ami Zota

Whistleblower Deane Berg, along with Dr. Daniel Cramer of the Harvard Cancer Center and Dr. Ami Zota of George Washington University, join Toxic director Phyllis Ellis to discuss the public heath risks of the beauty products we use daily and the explosive lawsuit that's bringing them to light. Hosted by award-winning author and journalist Rachel Giese.

About the film
Beauty products are a multi-billion-dollar industry. Despite public attention, companies continue to get away with harmful practices that leave the average consumer wondering which brand can be trusted. Toxic Beauty's case in point is the landmark class action lawsuit brought by female cancer survivors against Johnson & Johnson, in the face of the company's insistence that their baby talc products are safe. In exclusive interviews with scientists, whistleblowers and lawyers, the film reveals the ongoing lack of government regulation of cosmetics. To personalize the effects, the film enlists Mymy, a young medical student whose morning beauty routine includes more than 27 mainstream products. Her body is tested, then tested again after using clean beauty products; the results are shocking. The film ultimately concludes that without action, the greatest chemical disaster may be the one happening inside our bodies. Aisha Jamal

About the host
Rachel Giese, Author & Journalist
Rachel Giese is the editorial director of Xtra, Canada's online LGBTQ2 magazine, and is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail and the CBC Radio. Her book, Boys: What it Means to Become a Man, is a finalist for the Writers Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing.

Big Ideas presented by
Scotia Wealth Management - Enriched Thinking logo

Additional Information

  • Toronto Life - The five films in Hot Docs' Big Ideas explore how far we've come - and how much farther we have to go