Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another tale of survival in "Precious" a powerful movie of affirming life

I had put off going to "Precious" because I knew it would bring back painful memories of me and my family living on welfare among many women with huge problems. It did remind me of those days, but there was terrific acting in this story of a black girl who has to survive incest and two pregnancies by her own father. It doesn't get much worse than that. I don't think anyone will be able to top the chilling portrait of the mother who stood by and watched it happen by the actress who played her, I think her nmae is Monique. Rmember that name, because she is so good and horrifying in this role she should win an academy award.
Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry who have both disclosed they were molested by relatives and 'friends,' were the producers. Mariah Carey played the young black girl's therapist. She has a riveting scene confronting the mother about why she let incest happen to her daughter while she was present in which Mariah somehow manages to be very convincing, too. This had to be one of the most difficult scenes to play I recall ever seeing in cinema--the mother explaining the details of how this incest all got started when the child was 3 years old!
The actress who plays the young obese black girl is very affecting also. She is so good she seems like a real person up there whose life we get to see without her knowing it!

Nobody but Oprah and Tyler Perry could have made a movie about blacks this graphic in my opinion. It stunned me. The first child the young girl gives birth to has downs syndrome, and is taken off by the great grandmother to raise since the grandmother is too cruel to it. Since the next one is also by the father, I had to conclude that with hardly even mentioning the word abortion Tyler and Oprah are against it with the young mother planning to take care of both of her children on her own, away from her abusive mother. This mother would just let fly a frying pan at her daughter's head for hardly any reason at all. So she was also violently abused by the mother. Oh yes, the mother did say to the daughter, "I should have aborted your ass, you are ugly and stupid and you will never be anything else!"
In the movie, Precious goes to an alternative school in which she is urged by a very intelligent dedicated teacher to write every day about her life, which indicates that the producers believe telling your story to people who care can be a catharsis and a healing process. This is when Precious who has certainly not been precious to her mother and father gets to tell a therapist and others about what happened who are determined to help.
I think Oprah and Tyler Perry are sending the message out to young black people like Precious that no mtter how bad your life is you must try to make your way toward education, toward a chance to get away and heal, and this is a movie that shows how one very damaged young girl begins to climb out of the chaos of her childhood, taking control and being a better parent than her parents were to her.
I can relate to this story, for I thought both my parents were damaged souls who hurt their children even as they attempted to raise nd educate them. It was hard just surviving them. But you have to figure out just what you can rely on parents for and make the most of that as well as using any other source of help you can find. I always kept journals just as this young girl is urged to do. I figured I would write my way out of my troubles by analyzing them and talking about them to the world if I could. This has sometimes been hard on the people around me because I had so much on my mind, but I tried to help them to articulate their pain as well. My mother would explode in rages similar to what the woman in the movie did although not nearly as bad, and my dad would fight back, so it seems as though I was raised in one long never ending quarrel at home. This naturally was not a good exmaple of how to succeed in marriage. We daughters were going to have to act different than they did if we were to do better. We learned that lesson just as Precious does in this movie. She rises above her parents with her own better thinking and determination.

2 comments: said...

Wow, that must have been a difficult movie to do well. No wonder the actress playing Precious is getting so much attention. Stories like this need to be out people know what some go through.

Cheryl said...

I enjoyed the review and it will definitely encourage me to see this movie. Oprah is willing to deal with some very tough issues. Thanks for your review.


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