Friday, May 7, 2010
I rented the movie Precious tonight and watched it. Husband is working and isn't home yet. My sister warned me about the abuse/rape themes of the movie and that some of the scenes are pretty graphic. I was glad for the warning and would pass it along to others. It was tough. However, I am glad I watched it.
The background of the movie is - In 1987, obese, illiterate, 16-year-old Claireece "Precious" Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) lives in the ghetto of Harlem with her dysfunctional and abusive mother, Mary (Mo'Nique). She has been impregnated twice by her father, Carl, and suffers long term physical, sexual, and mental abuse from her unemployed mother. The family resides in a Section 8 tenement and subsists on welfare. Her first child, known only as "Lil Mongo", has Down syndrome and is being cared for by Precious' grandmother.
Precious escapes into a land of fantasy and imagination during the abuse. Interviews with the producer and director reveal that the fantasies are more prevalent in the movie because it was impossible to depict the graphic nature and details from the book. Such scenes would never have been allowed on screen.
This is not a happily ever after movie. But there is hope. Precious says, "Love beat me, raped me, called me an animal, make me feel worthless." The response is, "that wasn't love precious." Precious finds love, in a mentor and in her children and in her future.
Toward the end of the movie, there is a scene where a social worker confronts the mother in the presence of Precious. I watched the scene over and over. My mother had that conversation with my therapist before. Not in so many words, but the same.
The mother says -
"That was my man"
"He was supposed to love me"
"That was my man - and he wanted my daughter..........and that is why I hated her - because my man who was supposed to love me was f***ing my baby and she made him leave."
The social worker asks the mother, "So what did you do? "
The mother responds, "I shut up."
The social worker confronts the mother, "You shut up and you let him abuse your daughter ----- You allowed him to hurt her."
The mother shows her true colors when she says, "it is this bitches fault because she let my man have her and she didn't do nothing - she didn't scream -- she didn't do nothing."
The film ends with Precious realizing her mother's true colors and walking away with both her children.
When I finished the movie, I looked over to the couch beside me. Bugaboo is sound asleep - he slept through the whole thing. I felt a wave of love wash over me. Like Precious, I have survived. I will protect my children. They will have a better life. They will be safe and they will know love.