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Dakota Johnson to Star in the Film About Carrie Buck’s Government-Forced Sterilization



Dakota Johnson’s new project will unearth and share a story from American history that is both devastating and brutal. At a time when reproductive rights are under attack and we seem to be forgetting the violence of the past, making sure that the world remembers the story of Carrie Buck is important. Johnson will star as Buck in Unfit, a film adaptation of the non-fiction book Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck.

The story is that of the 1927 case Buck v. Bell where the Supreme Court wrongfully allowed the sterilization of a young woman it thought “feebleminded” in an 8-1 ruling, championing “the mass eugenic sterilization of undesirable citizens for the greater good of the country. The title of the book refers to the infamous declaration, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Of course, Buck’s tale is one in a long and violent history of forced sterilization in the United States. One cannot talk about this history without pointing out that Native American women, Puerto Rican women, and black women were disproportionately subjected to sterilization as a means of population control.

On the project, Johnson says that she was shocked that this period of history wasn’t taught, and hopes that this will be a timely film:

Like many, I was not privy to this shocking and fascinating moment in American history. I quickly became obsessed with the prospect of shedding light on the massive misstep in American justice. Certain aspects are unnervingly congruent with the relationship between the government and women today.

Hopefully, learning about Buck’s story will educate more about this history and the damage that the government has inflicted and continues to inflict on women’s bodies.

(via Vulture, Image via Warner Bros.)

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