American Experience: Partners of the Heart
Today: Meet the Filmmakers
Bill Duke:  video | transcript

What interests me is the subjectivity of things, what history said happened. But then there are people who perform historical acts and what were the nuances of the individuals who were involved in this act, whether it's fictional or whether it's historical in the sense of a documentary. Watching good guys do good things and bad guys do bad things, is not very interesting to me. But seeing the good and bad guys and the bad and good guys, or not the bad, but the human frailty of the good guys, that is fascinating to me. This story shows Vivien Thomas and Alfred Blalock in all of their glory but it also shows us their frailty as human beings. I'm always focusing on where is that little scratch. Not as a negative thing but it reminds me of my own frailties. If this person is so glorious that they are unflawed, I can't possibly ever be that person because I am a flawed human being. But if they have something that's recognizable in terms of their flaws, then perhaps I can achieve what they have achieved because they are like me.