Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Power-Packed Punch of Precious

Immediately after viewing the critically-acclaimed film "Precious", I texted my friend summarizing my impression of the movie. This was at 10:30 at night. On a Sunday. Such was the raw acting talent of Gabby Sidibe and the frightening transformation of Mo'Nique, that I was blasted out of my little existential bubble and into a bleak world, that, as the aforementioned friend pointed out, is a fact of life for too many, especially people of color. Despite some shortcomings (negative portrayal of black motherhood; lack of some back story on Precious' abusive and emotionally warped mother), this film goes beyond others of its genre in vividly presenting how a dark-skinned black teen in 80's Harlem uses immense fortitude to cope with being raised by one abusive parent while raising the children of the other abusive parent by whom she got pregnant. I applaud Precious for not coming across as an afterschool special, and despite its shortcomings, I'm rooting for it to be recognized in awards season, for it's a very good beginning in allowing art to bring more such stories to the forefront in an equally meaningful and honest fashion.

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