Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Oprah Winfrey to star in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks



I’ve seen this book time and again at my local Barnes & Noble but I see the word ‘cells’ and ‘medical’ and my eyes glaze over. Now Oprah, who was already on board as a producer, has agreed to star for HBO films. Ms Winfrey would play Henrietta Lack’s daughter, Deborah.
Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (Winfrey), the film chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever. It’s a story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty and deep friendship between the unlikeliest of people.
Now I might have to read it after all. It was on the best seller list for several years after its publication in 2010 so I’m sure many of you already have. Care to share your thoughts? The film starts shooting this summer.


“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

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