Thursday, February 28, 2013

Miss Evers' Boys

Yesterday's film was the HBO movie, Miss Evers' Boys, starring Alfe Woodward with Lawrence  Fishborne.  This is the final film of the Black History Month series.  The story is the well known one of the Tuskegee Experiment in which men infected with symphilus were made to live out she course of their disease although it was known, for many, many years of the period that penicllin would cure the disease.  It is a horrible example of the attitude toward black men on the part of the federal government.

The film has cobbled a touching story about a nurse who was with the experiment from the beginning who was convinced, by the white doctors -- some of whom were also convinced -- that this cruel miscarriage of justice was needed for medical science.  Alfe Woodward is convincing in a slightly cloying role, she gives up love and a life with a good man, to minister to her dying patients. The audience sees a sincere struggle in the heroine but  the true horror of the experiment is allayed somewhat by a framework of a Congressional hearing in which the white senators seem to be appalled that this black woman could have been so cowed by the "authorities" -- who essentially were themselves and their counterparts.

I hope we can go on for the rest of the semester seeing foreign films, not TV films, which is what this series is supposed to be showing us. 

1 comment:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Such an injustice to these black men -- just one of the thousands of racial miscarriages of justice carried out by our American system. Informative post -- barbara