The Rubin Chi
2013, Canada, Anne Wheeler, 59 min.
Post-screening discussion with Dr. Janet Yeh of the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU.
Anyone who knows Babz Chula, a larger-than-life 63-year-old actress from Canada’s West Coast, will tell you her life force—or chi—is hella strong. She easily convinces friend and director Anne Wheeler to join her on a trip to an ayurvedic clinic in India where she plans to undergo cancer treatments. The center is less sophisticated than Babz anticipated, and she’s very ill from her last round of chemotherapy but, after six weeks of treatments, introspection and laughs with Anne, Babz shows considerable improvement. At least that’s what Anne believes until they return home and discover Babz’s cancer has spread and she has only weeks to live. Now all the things they pondered in India, like facing death without fear or a belief in a God, become a reality. Babz’s family and friends rally around to help her face death in her own flamboyant fashion—head on, surrounded by friends and family.