Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed
Thursday, February 7, 2013 : 7:00pm to 9:00pm
University Park Campus
USC School of Cinematic Arts Building
The USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging is co-sponsoring a screening and discussion of an award-winning documentary that tells the shocking, inspiring and extraordinary life story of Vertus Hardiman.
Vertus Hardiman was the victim of a horrifying medical experiment at the age of five. The tragic experiment compelled Hardiman to conceal a painful and rare deformity under a wig and beanie for over 70 years. After twenty years of friendship with writer/producer Wilbert Smith, Hardiman revealed his secret to his friend and fellow church-choir member. Encouraged by his friend's determination to share his story, Hardiman shares what happened during the 1920s when he and nine other young children attending the same elementary school in Lyles Station, Indiana, were severely irradiated during a medical experiment conducted at the local county hospital. The film draws attention to the forgotten and reticently discussed history of human experimentation in the United States during the early to mid-twentieth century and raises questions about the ethics of research and the abuses that have occurred in the name of research. The film is also a testament to the power of the human spirit and the ability to endure without anger in the face of injustice. Veteran Hollywood actor Dennis Haysbert narrates the film, which was directed by Brett Leonard, one of Hollywood's most innovative directors.
The event is being organized by Karen D. Lincoln (Social Work), associate director of the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging.