Based on Rebecca Skloot’s bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks documents the story of a woman whose cancer cells would change the course of cancer treatment. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, Rose Byrne, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Courtney B. Vance and will premier on HBO on April 22nd.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, bought and sold by the billions, with devastating effects on her family. This is a riveting story of ethics, race, and medicine colliding; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter’s persistent desire to know her mother.