Was The Movie Precious Helpful or Harmful to Viewers ?

In 2009, the movie called “Precious” came out at the box office; I and several of my coworkers were in a long awaited line to see the movie that everyone was raving about. Oscar’s nominations were being mention pertaining to this phenomenal movie based upon the novel “PUSH”. It was written by the author Sapphire and directed by Lee Daniels. I have read the book several times over the years before watching the movie its self. And each time that I have read it I would end up crying all over the place. Somehow with the movie, I did not find myself crying at all, this time, I found myself like the director Lee Daniel, dealing with the demons of my past through this movie. Lee Daniel is quoted as saying: “It brought back a feeling I had when I was 11 years old and living in the projects in Philly. I answered the door one day, and a neighbor of ours, a light-skinned black girl who was about five years old, was standing there naked and bleeding. She’d been beaten with an electrical cord. I looked in my mom’s eyes, and it was the first time I ever saw fear in her eyes. When I read Sapphire’s book, those memories came back, and I felt I have to deal with this.” Lee Daniels also mentioned that the only way that he could escape the abuse that he had endured as a child was to escape to an fantasy world, which is why he added the fantasy scene in the movie in which every time Precious is being abused she fantasizes about being a movie star or having a relationship with a cute man. This part was not in the book, how was added to the movie. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/11/02/lee-daniels-brutal-truth.html
I must confess that I ‘m a book fanatic. I really enjoy reading a book before a movie or film comes out based upon a particular book. I’m glad that this give me enough time to see who are the main characters in the book, what is the style and finally the plot of the book. As I was doing my widespread research for this blog, I ran across a website in which the author Sapphire explained why her books character name “Push” had been changed for the movie to be called Precious. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120176695

As I was comparing the differences between novel character Push and the movie character Precious, I thought that the book version was more gritty and visual than the movie version. They both described a 16 year old over weighted illiterate teenager from Harlem, New York. (Push) Careece (Precious) Jones played by (Gabourey Sidibe) who lives in a low income housing unit with her over weighted jealous mother Mary (Mo’Nique) who is very mentally unstable. In addition, her mother Mary is sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally, abusive to her only child Precious. Precious also has to endure being raped repeatedly and impregnated twice by her biological father, while her mother stands by and watches. By all standers in today’s world this act would be labeled as incest. The book goes further into detail of her mother’s sexual abuse, in which one night while PUSH was asleep her mother enters her bedroom and starts to engage in sexual relations by finger her. The movie did not show the sexual promiscuous part between mother and daughter, only between father and daughter. Perhaps if they would have out the sexual act between mother and daughter it might traumatize individuals that have been sexual assaulted by their mothers or other female caregivers. Here are a few clips of the movie Precious.

As I watched the movie from beginning to end, I wonder, why didn’t anyone know about the incest that both parents were inflicting upon Precious? Perhaps it was a family secret in which the father, mother and grandmother are the only ones that know the truth, yet the family chooses to allow it to continue, that is until the father dies of AIDS. The movie Precious give you a look at life and what most young African American who cannot read or write woman have to go through on a daily basis. They face poverty, homelessness, abuse, unemployment and so on. One would have to wonder what kept her from ending her life.
The movie contains many positive messages. The most important message for the audience to see and hear is the fact that Precious overcame her very traumatic experience with strength and grit in face of her tremendous adversity of a cruel life that she is left to deal with. Yes, she had help along the way with characters such as her alternative school teacher Miss Rain, who gets precious who has now contracted HIV from her father, to realize that because somebody cared about me enough is what changed things for me.

Another message that comes out loud and clear is that adults who were sexually assaulted as children are survivors and not victims. Furthermore, he or she is no longer bound by the past of incest, sexual assault, rape, and family’s lies and secrets. They now have victory in Jesus name.

The two well-known producers of this film are Tyler Perry and Oprah Whitney have let the world know that they were victims of childhood sexual assault, both emotional and mental abuse, they too can relate to “Precious” however, they choose later on in life as adult to expose their perpetrators. They are not alone; celebrities such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Queen Latifah, Donnie McClurkin are writing books and speaking in public about the person responsible of robbing their innocence as child, now as adults they are fighting back. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/boxing–sugar-ray-leonard-poster-child-fight-against-child-sex-abuse.html
http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/sugar-ray-leonard-talks-about-abuse-i-was-knocked-down-not-koed,1167463/

This movie because of its traumatic controversy is what I would consider to be raw reality. I grew up in Chicago. The city life is that of crime, homelessness, unemployable, uneducated, men, women, and children. Living in a big city, one would also witness underage young women and men prostituting themselves to support their drug habit. There are too many gangs and drug dealers to count on the streets of major cities around the United States. People are often seen running for their lives as someone decides to spray the whole area with a fire arm, killing innocent people in the process. More than ever mental ill individuals can be seen sleeping under cardboard boxes in broad daylight. If one were to look around you could also see a rate of young teenage girls getting pregnant as young as twelve years old. These is what I have saw and seen all my life. I too like Precious had experienced a lot in my life time; it was not to break me, but to make me the person that you see today.

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