The first teaser for HBO's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which premieres April 22.
Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (Winfrey), the film chronicles her search, with the help of journalist Rebecca Skloot (Byrne), to learn about the mother she never knew and understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks' cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.
Unbeknownst to Lacks, who died later that year, her cells - known as the "HeLa" cells - were used for scientific research and were made "immortal" by continuing to divide and multiply ad infinitum (unlike normal human cells, which divide around 40 or 50 times before eventually dying out). During treatment of a malignant epidermoid carcinoma, her doctors took two samples - one of cancerous cells, and the other healthy - without her knowledge.
Winfrey executive producers and acts in the new film, which also stars Renée Elise Goldsberry as Lacks and Rose Byrne as Skloot.
The story of Henrietta Lacks was documented in Rebecca Skloot's 2010 book of the same title, which explores the story behind Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cell line that is derived from samples taken from her.
See more in the video below.