The HBO adaptation of the nonfiction book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” starring and executive-produced by Oprah Winfrey, is getting rave reviews.
The movie, filmed largely in Atlanta, is trending on Twitter following its Saturday night debut.
Henrietta Lacks’ cells were harvested after her death from cervical cancer in 1951, and proved to be extraordinary. They multiplied exponentially, eventually into the billions, and drove research that led to major medical and scientific advances. It’s not hyperbolic to say just about everyone walking around today has benefited in some way from her biological material (if you’ve been vaccinated or had cancer treatment, for example, you can thank Henrietta Lacks).
But her family was never informed or compensated. Author Rebecca Skloot, portrayed by Rose Byrne in the film, works to untangle the thorny ethical associated with “HeLa” cells, as the scientific community labeled them.
The movie is trending on Twitter with help from commentary from high-profile Twitter users director Ava DuVernay and actresses Tika Sumpter and Kerry Washington, and tons of fans.