What’s All The Stink About?

More stories from Sabrina Riley


Photo Courtesy of stinkmovie.com

The Syracuse International Film Festival returned to town for the 13th year last week. Students, faculty, and the whole community were able to see a variation of films for the duration of five days. This year, Le Moyne’s newest communications professor Bryan Cole showed his documentary Stink! in which he edited.

Cole has been a part of the film industry for over 20 years; producing, directing, and editing films over the course of his career. In more recent works, he served as Director of Content for BottleRock Napa Valley, one the largest film festivals in the U.S. according to stinkmovie.com.

Cole worked closely on Stink! with its director and producer Jon Whelan. Whelan indirectly associated himself with the world of documentaries. While he was experimenting with Virtual Reality, he received his Master of Business Administration [MBA]. Later in 1999, he co-founded the Web auction Afternic.com and also helped to found the New York Angels. With the birth of his children in the following years, Whelan changed his focus of his projects which lead him to the creation of his documentary Stink!

The documentary is centered around Whelan, discovering what kind of chemicals are hidden in his children’s pajamas. We follow Whelan as he learns all about the harmful chemicals found in products we use on a daily basis, from going into laboratories, corporate boardrooms, and the halls of Congress.

Over the course of making this documentary, Whelan became more aware of what he was being exposed to.

I have learned that companies don’t need to disclose whether products contain chemicals that cause cancer or disrupt hormones, even chemicals that could interfere with a child’s growth, or cause reproductive problems,” said Whelan. “Certainly we can all agree that American consumers should have the right to choose whether they want to be exposed to chemicals that cause cancer, or birth defects, or reproductive harm? Apparently not.”

The documentary makes you second guess the products you use daily; whether it’s your hand soap or perfume, there can be harmful chemicals present that can put you in danger.