Drama based on a true story about two men who defied the rules of their time to launch a medical revolution, set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South. Working in the 1940s Baltimore on an unprecedented technique for performing heart surgery on 'blue babies', Dr. Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman) and lab technician Vivien Thomas (Mos Def) form an impressive team. But even as they race against time to save a dying baby, the two occupy very different places in society. Blalock is the wealthy white Head of Surgery at John Hopkins Hospital; Thomas is black and a skilled carpenter with little money. As Blalock and Thomas invent a new field of medicine, saving thousands of lives in the process, social pressures threaten to undermine their collaboration and tear their friendship apart.