The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

DVD - 2017
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An African-American woman becomes an unwitting pioneer for medical breakthroughs when her cells are used to create the first immortal human cell line in the early 1950s.
Audience: Not rated.
Publisher: [New York] : HBO Home Entertainment, 2017.
Branch Call Number: DVD FIC Immor
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (90 min.) : digital, sound, colour ; 12 cm
Language Note: In English dubbed in French and Spanish with French and Spanish subtitles.
Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.


From the critics

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Oct 28, 2019

Wow! What an AMAZING and interesting story and it's a piece of medical history! Now I want to read the book.

Dec 18, 2018

The film tells the compelling story of the Lacks family in a somber and compelling but somewhat sloppy manner. Compared with the excellent book, the movie's scenes sometimes fall flat and emphasize the emotionally negative in a way that might make for better drama but doesn't fit with the real story. Still, Oprah Winfrey does a fantastic job in embodying the main character. Overall, it's a piece worth watching, but viewers are recommended to seek out the actual book afterward.

Nov 18, 2018

It was amazing to watch Oprah's character (Henrietta Lacks' daughter). Otherwise the story was rather disjointed. The book was much more informative and interesting.

Nov 10, 2018

I haven't read the book, but am glad I saw this movie. It was a well told, interesting story (piece of medical history).

Oct 22, 2018

Very well done. The film glosses over quite a few details so I'd recommend reading the book first.

Aug 01, 2018

Having read the book, I found the movie not interesting, so I didn't watch it. The book was great!

Jun 28, 2018

Directed by George C. Wolfe in 2017 based on the book of the same name by Rebecca Skloot, this TV drama depicts the story of Henrietta Lacks, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the 1950s, and whose cancer cells (later known as HeLa) would change the course of cancer treatment.
For decades, scientists had been collecting tissue samples from patients without consent, searching for cells that could live outside the human body.
In 1951, a woman entered a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and everything changed.
With these HeLa cells, scientsts can perform experiments that they never could on a living human being.
In 1954, Microbiological Associates began selling HeLa cells, which gave girth to the biochemical indusytry.
The Lacks family has never been compensated for these miracle cells.
It is an amazing and fascinating drama.

May 15, 2018

I read the 2010 book by Rebecca Skloot, before having seen this film. The film was a condensed but faithful version of the book and well acted by Oprah Winfrey, portraying the oldest daughter of Henrietta Lacks.
The final script concludes with updates and the extras show brief interviews and pictures of the surviving family.

May 03, 2018

I knew very little - if anything - about this remarkable woman. I'm not a big fan of O, however I'm not as negative on her acting as others, for I would imagine she portrayed the daughter according to facts. I can understand how the family was affected by this invasive, dishonest method. Consider the family at the time was not astute to this 'maneuver' by the powers.

Feb 15, 2018

I gave this one star for subject matter. The acting is terrible, Oprah cannot act, she is over-the-top silly and always loud and the journalist is just too cheerful, always has a toothy grin and a silly giggle.

However, this movie has interested me enough to research the subject matter further and I am learning many things about the HeLa cells I did not know before watching this movie.

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