Movie: Something the Lord Made
Director: Joseph Sargent
Written By Peter Silverman /Robert Caswell
This movie was based on the true story between a Black Carpenter Vivien Thomas and a prominent white surgeon Alfred Blalock and how they worked together to pioneer the cardiac surgery at the John Hopkins Hospital.
They met in Nashville where Blaloc was an assistant professor and Vivien came to work for him as a janitor. Very soon, Dr. Blalock discover the unique gift that Viven possessed in his hands as being extremely precise and also his interest and desire to learn about Medicine.
According to the Doctor, the gift in his hands was “Something that the Lord Made” that named the movie.
As they develop a fellowship during the years of working together, when Doctor Blalock has a chance to move to a larger and more prestigious Hospital, he then takes Vivien with him and faces the challenges of having a black man as a laboratory technician in the middle of a very racist society where the black workers were limited in being janitors.
The movie explains the tension of the relationship in the midst of the racist society. Several times the white doctor had to fight against the rules to allow his technician work along side with him. However, Vivien becomes very disapointed with Dr. Blalock after they successfully performed a pioneer surgery in a child that was able to bring back to life a disease known as “blue baby” due to malformation of their heart.
After the successful surgery, the whole academic community gives glory to the doctor but Vivien witness Doctor Blalock congratulate every single white member of the team, but him. This created in him a bitter spirit leaving him to change his mind and try a different career.
After unsucesfull tries. Vivien comes back and ask his job back and he later becomes a great asset in training surgeons with his skill.
The movie brings a very interesting topic about skill and academic degrees. Vivien cannot get good salary nor good job positions because he didn’t have college degress, even though he was extremely qualified and very gifted for the job.
The other issue the movie brings is the racism that was very strong in the american society at the time. Simple things like be able to enter throught the front door or to eat in the same cafeteria were taboo at the time and there was a clear distinction on how black people were not considered to have the same habilities of a white person.
However, it’s very interesting how both of these men were able to use their skills and their desire to searh for the cure and to find the solution for the problem of that particular disease. By countless hours of research and development they were able to overcome the problem and open a whole new realm of scientific development and discoveries in the hart surgery.
It’s very interesting to see that the Catholic Priest and the hospital leadership were not willing to take the risk of this new technique and be able to reach unknown areas of human knowledge that paved the way for heart surgery in the United States. It took people willing to take risks and believing in the talent of black person regardless the lack of degree to achieve the success.
I have very similar experience in my own life. I was part of a team that worked in the development of a new Medical Device. I had the privilege to work with a very talented doctor who had a very distinct way of knowing his field. He was willing to take risks and creating a new device to be able to prove his theory.
Today the company is doing well and they even helped my financially as gratification for my efforts. I must say that in my experience by no means I never suffer any kind of discrimination for not having a medical degree, but it brought me good memories of dealing with the unknown and the pursue of understanding drove these people in the search for understanding.
The fact that scientist are always willing to find new things and discovering the unknown makes the finding of solutions something that is very unique for the human nature and so many things have been brought into existence because of countless hours of man and women willing to sacrifice their own lives to see a problem solved.
Tags: Science and Tech, Humanitites and science, Tumblr, Movie Report
December 04, 2016 at 12:33PM
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