The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is based off of the best-selling novel by Rebecca Skloot. The story follows the true story of Henrietta Lacks and how her cells, famously known as HeLa Cells, went on to be a part of several medical breakthroughs. Her cells created the first human immortal cell line at Johns Hopkins in the 1950s, but so much of her life remained a mystery to her family. Her cells gave way to the biomedical industry and helped cure polio. Her cells have also played a role when it comes to the studies of herpes, AIDS, IVF, tuberculosis, Parkinson's' Disease, HPV, and more. The question of ethics and the work done by Johns Hopkins is also discussed in this film as the Lacks family has never been compensated for their mother's cells. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, Rose Byrne, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Rocky Carroll, John Douglas Thompson, Leslie Uggams, and John Beasley. This film would be a great addition for a Biology course, Ethics in Testing Unit, or Black History Month. It is also great for last minute sub plans.
My movie guide contains 45 questions and an answer key has been provided for your convenience. The film's runtime is 93 minutes and it is rated TV-MA.
BUNDLE AVAILABLE WITH THIS FILM
Other movie guides/documentaries in my store available for Black History Month:
Harriet- The heroic tale of Harriet Tubman and her work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad
Green Book- Musician traveling the South during the Kim Crow Era
BlacKkKlansman- True story of African American cop who infiltrated the KKK
42- The Story of Jackie Robinson
Red Tails- The Tuskegee Airmen
Glory Road- The 1966 NCAA Championship
Hidden Figures- The Women of NASA
Selma- Dr. Martin L. King Jr. and Voting Equality
Mudbound- Sharecropping/Life in the 1950s South
Race- Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics
The Hate U Give- based off of Angie Thomas' best-selling novel.
Marshall- The early years of Thurgood Marshall and his work with the NAACP
Black Panther- African American representation in film
The Express- The Ernie Davis Story/football
Remember the Titans- A true story about a football team overcoming their differences during their first year of integration
Best of Enemies- The true story of an unlikely friendship between a Ku Klux Klan president, C.P. Ellis, and an African American civil rights activist, Ann Atwater that develops as their district debates integration.
Loving- Based on the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court Case/interracial marriage
The Help- Set during 1963, a young white author is inspired to write about African American women and their work as the caretakers and housekeepers for white families in Jackson, Mississippi.
The Great Debaters- Based off the true story of the Wiley College professor, Melvin B. Tolson, who led his African American team to the national broadcast debate at Harvard University.
Lee Daniels' The Butler- A man, Cecil Gaines, serves as a White House butler during seven administrations and has a front row seat to history.
Ghosts of Mississippi- Medgar Evers murderer takes the stand over 30 years after the initial crime. This true story follow Mrs. Evers and a Mississippi's D.A. fight for justice.
A Ballerina's Tale- The story of Misty Copeland and her rise to becoming the first African American principal dancer.
Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History Month- The documentary tells the stories of individuals that many may not be aware of when it comes to African American advancements and innovations and also shares the stories of some well-known figures.
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