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Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story Film Review

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World-renowned Dr. Ben Carson has long been considered by his colleagues as the best pediatric neurosurgeon around, so it's no surprise that he remains in such great demand. Besides being stationed at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore where he performs over 300 operations on children each year, the peripatetic physician also crisscrosses the entire planet to share his miraculous talents with less fortunate folks in developing countries who might not otherwise be able to afford his services.

Dr. Carson is particularly famous for his seminal work separating Siamese twins joined at the head, such as the 50-member medical team he led during a 28-hour operation on a couple of nine month-old Zambian babies in 1997. Despite being the recipient of countless accolades including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, the humble doctor has never let his success go to his head.

Instead, this devoted family man and devout Christian is quick to credit the Lord for his bounty of blessings.

Unless you've read his autobiography, Gifted Hands, you probably have no idea how many hardships Dr. Carson encountered en route to reaching the pinnacle of his profession. For he and his brother, Curtis (Tajh Bellow) were raised in the slums of Detroit by an overwhelmed, divorced single-mom (Kimberly Elise) who juggled numerous jobs as a housekeeper and babysitter just to keep a roof over their heads.

Furthermore, because she couldn't read, Sonya Carson wasn't able to help her sons with their homework. Still, she emphasized both religion and education, sensing that that combination offered their best chance of avoiding the pitfalls of the ghetto.

Gifted Hands

Yet, Bennie fell far behind in grammar school where he was being mercilessly teased and regarded as bordering on mentally-retarded. His fortunes began to change soon after his mother recognized that he needed eyeglasses. Then, relying on a combination of faith in God and a dedication to hard work, the youngster rededicated himself to academics, determined to show those who had labeled him dumb that he could set his sights high and become a doctor.

Now, thanks to corporate sponsor Johnson & Johnson, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story has been adapted into a movie starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. in his best role in years. This inspirational bio-pic recounts all of the above and much more and is set to premiere on TNT on Saturday, February 7th at 8 PM (ET/PT).

A moving tribute to a real African-American role model with a powerful message for impressionable young minds that they can overcome any obstacles standing in the way of their dreams.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated: TV-PG
Running time: 90 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures

To see a trailer for Gifted Hands,

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Read more Kam Williams stories. Contact him through NewsBlaze.

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