Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Abderrahmane Sissako, Effie Brown and More Invited to the Academy as Diversity Push Continues David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Abderrahmane Sissako, Effie Brown and More Invited to the Academy as Diversity Push Continues Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve Casting News - Teyonah Parris Is Spike Lee's Lysistrata + NWA Biopic Casts its Tupac, Jussie Smollett Heads 'Underground' Casting News - Teyonah Parris Is Spike Lee's Lysistrata + NWA Biopic Casts its Tupac, Jussie Smollett Heads 'Underground' Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Watch "The Way of All Flesh" Documentary On "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 1, 2011 at 12:37PM

I'm currently reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; the non-fiction book by Rebecca Skloot, which Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films will adapt into a feature film for HBO, as announced about a year ago.
6

I'm currently reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; the non-fiction book by Rebecca Skloot, which Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films will adapt into a feature film for HBO, as announced about a year ago.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of Lacks, a poor African America Baltimore mother of five who died of cervical cancer in 1951 at age 31, and whose cancerous cells from her body, removed and cultured for medical research by doctors at Johns Hopkins (without her family’s knowledge), led to “significant breakthroughs in medical research, ranging from aiding the development of the cure for polio to AIDS-related treatments.

But that doesn't even begin to really uncover the story of this mostly unknown black woman, her family, and the contributions she unknowingly made to science. I'm about 1/4 through the book, so still a long way to go, but, thus far, I'm hooked! There's a lot of meat here, a lot I didn't know before I started reading it, and I can see why Oprah would be interested in making a film based on Lack's story, and aftermath.

The book was published in February of 2010, so it's still relatively fresh, and I encourage you to pick up a copy if you haven't.

I would say more, but I want to finish reading it, which I hope to do in the next week, and then I'll post one of my book-to-film review entries.

Oprah reportedly loved the book so much that she “couldn’t put it down,” and read all 384 pages in one sitting. The adaptation was said to be high on HBO’s priority list, thanks to her encouragement. But, as of today, no word on how far along in the production process the adaptation is; I'd assume it's been given to a screenwriter to adapt, which could take some time:

In the meantime, I learned of this old documentary on Henrietta Lacks and her so-called "immortal cell line." It's titled The Way of All Flesh. I haven't watched it all yet (I only found about it this morning), but I'm told that it's not comprehensive, and shouldn't be relied on as a sole source. Consider it a companion to the book.

It's 55 minutes long, and embedded below.

This article is related to: Preview, Watch Now


Shadow & ActNewsletter