The 1999 movie The Green Mile tells the story of a prison guard working on death row at Louisiana State Prison, and his encounter with a black inmate who possesses supernatural powers. The lead character, played by Tom Hanks, has a urinary infection cured by a convicted child murderer, acted by Michael Clarke Duncan, this giant of a man later restoring life to a pet mouse belonging to another prisoner.
Welcome to the 'Magical Black Character', which acclaimed film director Spike Lee spoke about during a lecture at Yale University in 2001. Lee asserted that Hollywood film makers, unable or unwilling to cast black actors as normal people, instead preferred to introduce black characters as being mystical or magical, imbued with special powers to satisfy some need in the white characters and calm the conscience of a predominantly white audience.
Other examples of this approach have included The Legend of Bagger Vance (Will Smith is Matt Damon's mystically gifted golf caddy), What Dreams May Come (Cuba Gooding Jr plays Robin Williams' supernatural spiritual companion), The Matrix Trilogy (Laurence Fishburne is a freedom fighter guiding Keanu Reeves through an alternate reality), and Bruce Almighty (Morgan Freeman plays God).