“The Way of All Flesh,” A Documentary About Henrietta Lacks, HeLa, The Immortal

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Last week was a week, it seemed, of all death; I hope this week will be less about confronting death and more about affirming life for me and for you.

This film, 55 minutes long, was released two years ago, about the time that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks began its assent up the best seller charts. Now, according to Tambay over at Shadow and Act, Oprah wants to make a feature film based on the book.

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.

Tambay wrote this on June 1, some four days ago.

Remember that, people. The image does not tell the whole story. Read the book. Please do read the book.  Get it from the library if you can’t afford to buy it, or share the cost with a few reading friends.   Because, in another way to see it, black people still make this world possible. And in the other way, they stole us again, without our consent, not just our bodies, but from our bodies. Which makes us little more than the crops we once harvested.

Weird.  And just not right.  To me, informed consent is all, as well as reasonable compensation.

Check it out.

~ by blksista on June 5, 2011.

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