SILVER SPRING, Md. (WUSA9) -- Many gathered to attend a benefit screening of a new film called "Decoding Annie Parker."
The movie, directed by Steven Bernstein stars Helen Hunt as an American geneticist, Dr. Mary Claire King, who discovers the BRCA genes linked to a higher incidence of breast and ovarian cancers. Samantha Morton portrays Annie Parker, a Canadian woman who was also searching for answers to why cancer was ravaging her family.
The movie has an inspiring quote by Annie Parker in the beginning, "My life was a comedy. I just had to learn to laugh". The film highlights her life as a woman who had lost her mother to cancer, then her father and then her beloved sister to cancer as well. She faces loneliness and many challenges but keeps going. The audience shared laughter during the movie with a strong message. The director specifically asked the audience not to hold back just because of the topic of the movie. He mentions laughter as a very important part of dealing with such issues as cancer.
Annie Parker spoke about why she shared her story, "My driving force was the fact that I was scared and I was angry.." She said, "To let people know that they are not alone in this fight.."
Sue Friedman, Executive Director of Facing Our Risk of Cancer (FORCE) said there was no FORCE when she was diagnosed with cancer. "Hereditary cancer affects every aspect of your life," she said.
She commended Angelina Jolie's public efforts on speaking about her cancer treatments and process. She said, "There is an incredible stigma that goes with having cancer..her coming out public de-stigmatized it"
Bernstein spoke about why he chose to direct the film, "It's about making a real difference in the world."