Unfit won't be a happy film, but it will be an important one.
Dakota Johnson will star in the movie, based on Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck. The book tells the true story of a young Virginia woman, Carrie Buck, who was forced into sterilization by the U.S. government.
Buck was the victim of a Virginia sterilization law and took her case to the Supreme Court, but she ultimately lost. In 1927's Buck v. Bell, the Supreme Court's eight-to-one decision found that "undesirable" American citizens could be forcibly sterilized.
The Court's opinion described Buck as "feeble minded." (Incidentally Buck's mother was also institutionalized for being "feeble minded.") According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Buck was sent to live with a foster family after her mother's institutionalization. She became pregnant and accused her foster parents' nephew of rape — at which point they had her institutionalized.
"Like many, I was not privy to this shocking and fascinating moment in American history," Johnson told Deadline of the film. "I quickly became obsessed with the prospect of shedding light on the massive misstep in American justice. Carrie Buck's story is poignant and galvanizing, and certain aspects are unnervingly congruent with the relationship between the government and women today."
Don't expect the movie to be a watered-down version of the true events, either. According to Deadline, the spec script was written by Melissa London Hilfers, a former litigation lawyer, so it sounds like Unfit will get into the harsh reality of Buck's tragic case.