Making the Grades
Dr. Lucille Teasdale (Marina Orsini) is a woman of extraordinary ambition. Attending medical school during the 1950s, she passionately pursues a specialty in surgery--even though no hospital in North America is interested in hiring a female surgeon.
Deciding to continue her education where there is more acceptance, the French Canadian citizen settles into France. There she meets up with a former acquaintance, Dr. Piero Corti (Massimo Ghini). Equally driven, the wealthy Italian physician offers Lucille a proposal: Come with him to Uganda, where he is trying to build a missionary hospital, and use her training to help the poor and impoverished.
With few other opportunities to practice her skills, the aspiring doctor agrees to come for three months. However, she quickly finds herself falling in love with the country and the people. Meanwhile, Dr. Piero finds himself falling in love with Lucille. When it is time for her to leave, he makes her a new proposal--this time for marriage.
Based on a true story, this dramatized telling of the couple's life work follows their trails and triumphs as the turbulent history of the African country unfolds. Caught in the conflict of civil war and the reign of terror under the ruthless dictator Idi Amin (played by Makalo Mofokeng), the husband and wife team turn their expertise to treating the casualties and protecting the refugees. Unwilling to leave the needy, the pair agree to give their lives, if necessary, for the Ugandan people.
Of course, depicting the violence and inhumanity of their situation does create some content concerns for viewers. Although the portrayals are not belabored or gratuitous, there are many cases where bloody injuries and graphic surgical procedures are shown. These may prove to be too much for the young or the squeamish.
But it is not the horror that this made-for-TV movie focuses on. Instead, the script tunes into the everyday heroism of the dedicated people who sacrifice their own safety for the well being of others. It also solicits awareness and donations to their cause (two dollars from each DVD sold will go directly to their charity). Produced in her native land (where she has received little recognition) Dr. Lucille captures the remarkable devotion of this pioneering physician and her spouse, and the impact they have had upon an ailing world.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Dr. Lucille.
Lucille and Peiro have differing religious perspectives as they labor in “God’s untidy world.” Why do trials draw some people closer to God, while others are driven further away?
To learn more about St. Mary’s Hospital and the Piero & Lucille Corti Foundation, check out their official website: http://lhospital.org/index_eng.htm
The life of dictator Idi Amin has become part of the history of Uganda. A biography can be found at this website: http://africanhistory.about.com/od/biography/a/bio_amin.htm