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Precious. Kids? Uh, not so much

preciousSuper Secret Back Up Support Agent and I went to see Precious at the movies, Sunday.  This is a movie based upon the book ‘Push’ by Sapphire, published in the mid ’90’s.  I remember hearing her interview with Terry Gross, the details that she used to describe the experiences in the book were chilling.  It is the story of a young, black teenage girl who is obese, illiterate and about to give birth to her father’s second child.  She lives alone with her mother who is physically and sexually abusive.  This movie was directed by Lee Daniels who was involved with Monster’s Ball, Shadowboxer and the Woodsmen (I’ve seen all three, the first and last are on my favorite’s list).   SSBUSA, who is also know as “Researcher Extraordinaire”, looked into the details when we got home.  Sapphire said that she chose Daniels to put her movie together because she knew he wouldn’t back down from the sharp edges of the story.  This is not a movie to see when you are emotionally vulnerable.  All the rolls were well acted, the experiences and emotions rang true.  The most helacious parts of the movie were handled with a deft touch, you saw enough to know what was happening, and to feel it.    The sex and violence portrayed didn’t seem like they were used to shock viewers, they were necessary for one to enter into the horrific world that Precious was trying to survive in.   Mo’Nique plays the mother in a grittingly, raw performance.  Mo’Nique’s character was frightening with her paroxysms of spontaneous, over-the-top, bouts of  physical violence, over unpredictable triggers.      Mariah Carey plays a social worker—you probably wouldn’t even recognize her unless you were looking for her.  She is a worn out public servant trying to do what she can for people who are mandated to see her,  in order to keep the welfare money coming.  I was really moved by her acting–maybe better described as her being, in the movie.   Gabourey Sidibe was a stand out as Precious.  She came across as stoic, tenacious and courageous, to me.  Observing the journey that Precious makes from being trapped within herself, to connecting with others, and being able to find her voice was really inspiring.  The movie portrayed some of the coping mechanisms that enabled her to live through such harrowing experiences.  It also showed the trickle down effect of violence, as we witnessed Precious unexpectedly smack a little girl in her apartment building just like her mother would do to her.  It’s hard sometimes not to pass on negative things that you’ve been subjected to.  I like that the character of Precious was full and nuanced, things aren’t black and white, all good or all evil, and neither are people.  I am glad that we live in a time when we can discuss issues such as power enequities, the need for dominance and overinflated senses of entitlement.  These are some of the causes of child abuse, as well as all the other flavors of abuse that continue to plague our world.   Both SSBUSA and I felt physically ill after watching this movie, AND we think it should be mandatory viewing by most people over age 15, or so.  Here’s the Wikipedia back drop on the movie.  The poster for this movie just hits me in the belly like a baseball bat.   If you go to see this movie, you may want to skip the popcorn.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precious_(film)