Friday, November 13, 2009

Why I Hated Precious...

Saw an old friend from the neighborhood who I hadn't seen in a long time when I was leaving the theater from seeing Precious. Normally, I would have rushed over and hugged her and caught up some, but I was in a bit of a fog. I got myself together enough to speak properly but apparently I was still mumbling to myself and shaking my head.

She asked, with wide eyes, whether I'd just come from Precious. I told her yes.

"So?" she asked, with anticipation. "How was it?"

"Horrifying." I said, reflexively.

I thought a little longer. Coming to the same conclusion I said, again: "Horrifying."

We exchanged a little more small talk that I can't honestly remember because I was still stuck on what I'd just seen.

I should be clear: When I say that Precious was horrifying, I don't mean it in a "Wow, kudos to Sapphire/Lee Daniels/Oprah/Tyler Perry because they just outdid themselves" and got me wanting to testify about it kind-of-way. No.

I mean, I am horrified that I spent an hour and 49 minutes watching a horrifying display of pathology on parade, and that it was Black folks themselves -- director Lee Daniels and "executive producers" Oprah and Tyler Perry -- who led me there.

Make no mistake -- Lee Daniels is a pathology pimp. Plain and simple. He's not the first. Some of our most prolific movie directors (Scorcese comes to mind...) are pathology pimps. Pathos tells good stories and, often, creates great, watchable art. But, see, this is my problem with Lee Daniels. He's a pathology pimp and he's not even good at it. His work, ultimately, is not art. It is raw, unchecked, internalized oppression that he is peddling as "important" stories about Black folk that "need" to be told.

There are elements of Precious, of course, that are real. In this country and around the world there are Black girls like Precious -- morbidly obese, abused, victims of incest, illiterate, HIV-positive, etc. There are women in my family who, in one aspect or another, have been subjected to the same atrocities as Precious.

But, really, tell me something I don't know. I live in Chicago. All I have to do is watch the news, read the paper or visit my proverbial cousins "Pookie an' 'nem" to know that there are elements of Precious that exist. One look at the health, socio-economic and class status of many African-Americans is proof of that.

But Precious is the kind of movie that will always resonate with white folks, especially white film critics like Roger Ebert and the film festival crowd who have raved about it. Because, in the end, they want to believe we're "strong" enough to transcend the most horrific of circumstances like Precious, and that on some level they played some part in the triumph. Just look at the casting. Daniels has been lauded as a genius for his quirky casting choices in Precious, and yet the overt colorism only adds to what makes this movie ultimately unwatchable for me. The only people who showed Precious any kindness, any cover, any hope -- Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz -- are all light-skinned. The din of depravity she suffers her entire life, of course, comes at the hands of dark-skinned Blacks. Hmmm....

For me? Precious, and frankly, the book it's based on ("Push" by Sapphire) -- is so over the top that all it did was piss me off. It codes as overtly racist fantasy, or the figment of a liberal's imagination about what Black life must be like. Because who hasn't seen a Black girl like Precious running down the street with a bucket of fried chicken she's just stolen? I was haunted for days thinking of that scene -- and yet, didn't Soledad O'Brien profile a Black girl from New York who claimed to be addicted to fried chicken in CNN's "Black in America 2" over the summer? THIS summer, in 2009?

It has taken me a week to process the depth of my disgust with this film. In the end, I'm sick to death of Black pathos being exploited as art. I can't celebrate Precious or laud the writer or the producers as visionary, because they're not. I can't laud a director like Lee Daniels who has hustled Black pathology into his meal ticket and has fooled white folks and Black folk who lack critical thinking skills alike into thinking he's doing something important. Did Lee Daniels passing off Halle Berry's pornographic tryst with a racist Billy Bob Thornton character in Monster's Ball teach us nothing?

Lee Daniels has said that he wanted Precious to create a "dialogue". He said that he would never look at a fat, Black girl the same way again. Well, maybe it was that transformative for him, but clearly not for everyone. In three separate incidents in Chicago since this film has been released, I've heard Black males referring to obese Black women as "Precious". Laughing, sneering. Derisive. Overall, I think that's all this movie will do -- further exacerbate the extent to which white folks, and black folks themselves, view girls and situations like this as caricatures to be either pitied or ridiculed.

I might be the only sister to say this aloud but, frankly, I don't want to see Mo'Nique nominated or possibly win an Oscar for playing this monster of a Black mother in Precious. I don't. I don't want a fictional Black mother who made her own daughter perform oral sex on her to win an Academy Award. I don't want to see Gabby Sidibe nominated for an Oscar for this exaggerated role. I'm saying it. I don't want to see it. Why is Black incest so titillating to Hollywood? I remember being so excited to see Delroy Lindo and Erykah Badu in The Cider House Rules, and then being so disappointed and disgusted because they played a dysfunctional, incestuous father and daughter. (You'll recall that the Erykah Badu character ends up killing her father who, like Precious' father, has impregnated her twice...)

I've had it. Black pathos exists. We know this intimately. But it's overrepresented everywhere, from the movies to the nightly news.

My hope is for us to stop believing the hype of pathology pimps like Lee Daniels -- and Oprah and Tyler Perry. What they are selling is neither hope nor hopeful. It is nothing less than destructive to our community and our culture.

Still shaken,
Sabrina

43 comments:

  1. i loved EVERYTHING you just said! i feel the same way and i haven't even seen the movie yet. a huge part of me doesn't want to. people like "Precious" exist in real life and situations like that are NOT to be glorified for the "ooh's" and "aah's" of Hollywood. speaking from experience, i'd much rather of had someone lending me a helping hand then trying to put it on display for the world. thank you for this
    Amber

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  2. If it was a white film would you feel the same?

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  3. Oh My God! Someone has said it! I luv you for your "not giving a what", what anyone thinks! You have mad me think out of the box ,and sweetie that is important! I support your notion!

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  4. *golf clap*

    This was beyond great. Honestly, I had absolutely no interest in wanting to see something I'm already more than witness to on a daily basis played out in THX Surround Sound..but this entry definitely helped me decide that I wouldn't even bother seeing it for free online.

    I'm generally not a fan of screenplays designed to make a person cry, but when I read it immediately I knew the film would be over-the-top but not for the black inner-city community.

    And you hearing guys saying what they're saying about darkskinned big girls sadly doesn't surprise me, and yes this type of thing does give these miscreants more unoriginal material to work with.

    I live in Chicago also, so I'm sure it won't be long before I start hearing the same jeers aimed at some random girl.

    That begs the question:does this film just make white people pity obese black girls/women, or does it(in some aspect)bring on their respect?

    Anyway I just had to compliment you on a great review.

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  5. I absolutely agree!!! Very well said. It's about time someone said this!!! Say it again!!!! A lot of people feel this way.

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  6. hmm it's interesting that you make these statements but make no comparisons to the dozens of movies produced by our own people that neither "lift us up" nor "light the way" I believe you make some valid points and can see how "willie lynch" is overtly obvious to those wide awake but is not each story we place for public consumption in an effort to create dialogue open doors... Yes you live in Chicago, I grew up in Baltimore where 3 out of 5 of my young girlfriends were victims of some variety of sexual abuse, I thought the book was a raw look into a life that does exist , Living in VA I have yet to see the film as limited release means "placing it in cities or in this case metropolitan urban areas where the feeling that we could relate most to the story". I am happy to see you wide awake and will check back to see what you talkin about soon.... Thanks for the honest outlook Peace and Blessings

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  7. I agree with certain aspects of your post. While casting choices such as Paula Patton and Mariah Carey are unfortunate, they do not fit the descriptions of the characters in the book. Miz Rain was a dark skinned woman in the book, and Mrs Weiss was white, and Precious didn't even like her.

    Also, I think that you need to think a little bit wider than just yourself. There are people who find strength in seeing someone like Precious overcome her obstacles in her life. The way that your tone in this article sounds, it seems as if you want her to just wallow in self pity and hate. What else is she supposed to do but try and live a better life than the hand she was dealt? It seems as if white people would assume that she would stay on welfare and continue in the vicious cycle that she was born into. Yes it was a hard film to watch, but I think that if you stop trying to look at it as an exploitative film, but as a way for people to see that there is a way out, it might be a little bit more positive for you. But maybe not.

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  8. Having just seen the film myself, I went searching for other people's reactions, and decided to hit you back. What follows is obviously, an immediate reaction to your very well written, well thought out entry, but a dialogue would be more than welcome!

    While I agree that the depiction of light skinned blacks and Mariah Carey being the only ones who come to the aid of Precious, is a poor visual choice, but to say the film is overtly racist or a liberal imagination is boiling it down to simplistic. This was not Dangerous Minds.

    As I walked into the theater, I heard a boyfriend talking to his girlfriend, asking her why they were going to see a film that wasn’t meant to be fun, that wasn’t 2012. She didn’t have a response. But if I could have said something, I would have told him that it was created for those who have nothing in common with the characters, as well as for those who have too much in common. It was created to hopefully make you examine the characters beliefs, as well as your own.

    As I'd imagine occurred in your screening too, there were the few who decided to laugh at the dramatic moments, refusing to invest themselves in what they were watching, for whatever personal reason. The same people, most likely, who are now using "Precious" as a jeer. They don’t want to be engaged.

    The film deserves the attention it has received not only due to the uncompromising performances, but the fact that it displays human beings, be they black, white or whatever, in an uncomfortable, realistic manner that is rarely seen, all too Not-Hollywood (Oprah and Tyler Perry only jumped onto the film at Sundance after it premiered). It displays the strength one person can have in the face of so much opposition, and the support they can receive from those who are practically strangers. It wasn’t simply a melodrama. It made you laugh as well as gasp. It did in fact, entertain (me).

    I certainly agree, as a member of one, that every minority, from black to gay to asian to women, could be MUCH better represented in Hollywood. But I have hope that the majority of viewers don’t see this as a black, inner-city story, but as one that transcends race and sex. As a viewer, it certainly will not change my opinion on black, overweight females or anyone else I interact with, but it does inspire me to tell stories that aren’t made of glitter and gold, created to just entertain, but form characters reflecting people and experiences too often overlooked.

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  9. Some really thoughtful critique in the comments here. Thanks for stopping by. I have much to say about what some of you have said, but will wait to add anything additional. Would love to keep the conversation going.

    Blessings,
    Sabrina

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  10. Sabrina, you did an excellent job of dissecting this movie's internal organs. I haven't seen it and have wrestled with whether I can subject myself to watching horrifying displays of black family dysfunction. Much as I don't patronize any kind of violent films, I seriously doubted whether I could stomach "Precious." I don't think I can. It pains me too much already to know the deep sea of depravity, vulgarity, victimization, self-hatred in which too many black people swim--and drown. Why is that when Oprah and Tyler "go there," they exploit to the max the lowest side of black life in America? You're right, we already know incest, rape, abuse exist in spades in many families. I don't need a movie, and certainly a couple of black millionaires, feeding me imagines of that and getting richer in the process. Are Oprah, Daniels and Perry putting up some money to really change the lives of a few Preciouses?

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  11. This was a well thought out and well articulated point. I agree with all aspects of your argument but one -- i.e., the idea that pimps are bad. Now before I am misunderstood, let me clarify that I mean "pathos pimps" as you use it. Without pimps (whose formal titles read "Director" and "Producer") there would be no entertainment. Entertainment is good. And the best of it, pardon the word choice here, exploits the human pathos.

    When our rap artists speak about guns and drugs we implore them to speak more consciously. However, if Tupac makes songs like "Brenda's got a baby" then, by your logic, we can also call him a pathos pimp. I cannot imagine anyone truly calling him that, though. Be that analogy not strong enough, I will say that my point is simply this: its OK for them (these Directors and Producers) to be pimps. They make movies. That is their job. They can only exploit you if you pay to see their works; they can only "touch your life in tremendous ways" (whatever that may mean) if you let them; they can only evoke these emotions if you make that initial emotional investment.

    My most sincere condolences go out to everyone who has been in a situation indirectly portrayed by the movie (which, by the way, I am yet to see). But the fact remains that making art reminiscent of these events -- whether movies, music, or paintings -- does not cheapen or trivialize the occurence(s) in any way. Would you not go see a documentary about the Civil Rights movement, though it can be argued that that horse is already beaten to death?

    Thank you for allowing for this discussion.

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  12. I saw Precious last night and was very disturbed by the audience reaction. The audience laughed so much during the horrific scenes during most of the movie. They laughed so hard when Mary goes up the stairs after Precious to give her what we know will be a severe beating. I felt like I was watching a different movie.

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  13. thank you for not falling for the okey doke! I love women like yourself who aren't self absorbed in the american bs, thank you for showing your beautiful mind instead of ass.

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  14. i saw it too and you called it right. I knew the story and was like "wow, they really could have overdone it"
    ans what they did was kinda under tell it with no real conclusion or climax. it just stopped and that was it, torture over.
    b

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  15. This entire blog disappoints and saddens me. I have MANY words for this - but I have read the book, not seen the movie...I am off to see the movie and will comment thereafter.
    Regards.
    -Toy

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  16. I would love to see the conversation continue as well. I'm not surprised by your thoughts at all as I had concerns about being able to watch the movie as well. What you shared of the scenes only underscored that feeling. I'll see it when it comes to video, have some great snacks on hand and will make sure to do so on a day when I'm feeling ready for it.

    You and Sean both make some great points that I can agree with and that resonate with me. The bottom line for me is not the rightness or wrongness - neither of the movie, the producers/director, the blogger, the commenters nor even my own perspective. There are SO many issues these days that I just don't have the emotional bankroll to sink into this one. The movie tells a heart-wrenching story that is based on A true and one we agree is not isolated. Its a human story more than anything, even beyond the racial connotations. Its going to be difficult to watch, as many movies before have been for me (Mississippi Burning, A Time to Kill, Schindler's List, Between Heaven & Earth, etc...)

    The bigger picture I guess for me is the race issues that we've failed to deal with as a nation that make us have to continue circling around this same conversation movie after movie, Black Oscar Winner after Black Oscar Winner, human story after human story. The failure that gives rise to such strong speculation about the underlying motivations of others. What is it that we're failing to discuss openly and honestly so that we can stop having the same discussion over & over again? The answer for me is our National History of Racism and the effects that it has always had on us as a nation and always Will have on us - even after we discuss it effectively and completely. But at least after we have that conversation as a nation, we can begin to actually move forward with less traction from the past and more traction for a brighter future.

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  17. As someone whose read the book and seen the film, I am still conflicted as to how I feel about the subject matter and am still processing my thoughts about it. For the past week I’ve been perusing various blogs and commentary about the film in order to understand all points of view.

    I agree that Daniels’ casting choices were unfortunate and are in no way true to the book. They also reflect his admission of being a colorist. But the colorism issue is something that only the black community truly understands (to most white people Mariah, Paula, and Lenny are black people just the same).

    What I’m starting to recognize with regard to the obesity issue is that people aren’t looking at it as part of the whole. Yes there will be ignorant people who will now want to refer to overweight black girls as “Preciouses” but, those probably aren’t people who can view and/or discuss anything with any semblance of intellect anyway. Sapphire makes it a point that Precious be a dark skinned girl because it blatantly points the finger back at Black America’s colorism pathos. Precious isn’t valued by her mother, her perpetrator father, or even herself because she’s dark skinned (a point that Daniels’ makes moot by casting all biracial saviors). This also correlates with her weight. She doesn’t value herself so she overeats and her mother force feeds her. Food is also a method of coping for her- not uncommon among abuse victims. She doesn’t eat healthy food because she doesn’t live in an environment where healthy food is an option.

    Also you mentioned that Daniels has said that he wanted to make Precious to foster a "dialogue”- which is what we are doing right here and in other places?

    Just my $.02. I’m not trying to make excuses or justifications for the film, I’m just presenting what I took away from it.

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  18. I've read your opinion and outlook on the movie Precious but I do not believe that this moivie is trying to exploit the African-American community in any way. The media has and continues to expoit us daily; when you really think about it, we exploit ourselves. This movie is a small depiction of what has and continues to occur in the lives of many Americans. Child abuse, sexual abuse and mental health occur in the lives of many children of all races. Precious could have been a white girl in the rural south of a poor economic status or a white girl from the suburbs of "white america" living a middle class way of life. Precious could be the story of boy of any race that was vicitimized by his parents and chooses suicide as a way out. Precious could be anyone.

    I am not a fan of any media (film, literautre, music) that paints African-Americans as a helpless and victimized community but I am a fan of those that try to enlighten others of the realities of living. It is ignorance that will cause African-Americans boys and men in our community to call obese women "Precious" not the movie; Precious is just a character in the movie.

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  19. This blog is spot on. Shame on Daniels, Winfrey Perry and the whole lot for this film.

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  20. All I have to say is wow for a person who is a big tyler perry fan ...I am in shocked and i wanted to see the movie so bad I understand completely what you are saying ..I can relate to what you r saying up close and personal ..having come from a family who had some of the same things happen...I am distraugh and speecless and I dont know what to say ..your words were deep and you r so right and I saw the other movie also with erica baydu and I was so disgusted and disappointed.

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  21. You know that I agree 100%. You are an innately prolific writer. And incredibly underrated. Again. Great job. Precious is controversial..but will we have the courage; as a black society to actually address the real issue...Exploiting African American women with fantasy Sapphire caricatures sells. And racism within the industry, and elsewhere still exists..Post Obama (But..did we really believe that things would change because of that?).

    Unfortunately...itis increasingly getting worse; as the color-blind racism of politics, helps to influctuate already overzealous & ridiculous stereotypes. We need to address the real issue at hand. Somebody..please state the truth. I am so tired of ignoring racial conflict & pretend class 'trickle-down' victories. The truth is..we're still in the same oppressioned boat. Only this time..not only is is ignored...it's praised.

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  22. Thanks for your comments. They were very insightful. I was planning on seeing the movie, then I changed my mind and then I decided I will see it but your blog has given me food for thought again. All I can say is wow. I will let you know what I think.

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  23. This reminds me of someone i used to know who was always moved to very visible tears at almost any type of nostalgia or pretentious pathos on either television or the movie screen yet was the embodiment of a flat affect when it came to her own dysfunction (including but not limited to her own marriage falling apart). In other words, i think i understand where you are coming from: for who exactly is this film and its "message" really for? The folks who already know it firsthand? The people that are already indifferent to it? The progressive liberals who actually do more harm than good with their self-righteous good intentions?

    Keep thinking, keep speaking, keep speaking....

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  24. http://unbohio.blogspot.com/2009/09/todays-society-and-its-roots-in-terror.html

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  25. Thank you for posting this blog. I just saw Precious and I was not moved, not impressed, not anything but pissed that I wasted time, energy and money on this film. Sure, there are people like this in the real world but there are plenty of movies that show these atrocities so all the rants about Precious being a movie that taps into a world never depicted in the media need to chill out. Sean, Dangerous Minds actually had a point. Precious was a movie haphazardly thrown together with no real meat to the movie. to anonymous who said that the movie gives hope because Precious overcame the obstacles in her life. Where in the movie did you see this? I also wonder what extremely abused, poverty stricken, sixteen year old with two kids and HIV is able to move on in life with the help of a journal, fifty dollars and a social worker. The folks who enjoyed the movie are obviously more willing to have the wool pulled than I. pointless movie, could have really been better.

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  26. To me it's just a continuation of #MINSTRELIZATION that we are active participants in then we wonder why there are only negative perceptions and stereotypes about the Black community. Who is to blame for the misrepresentation that leads to the oppression that is being "celebrated" and peddled in the name of entertainment?! Let's take a look in the mirror Black people.

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  27. I too agree with many of the author's comments about this film. I did not walk away from this film feeling inspired in any way. It was ridiculously over the top and I found it very hard to believe that one person could experience so much terrifying and trying circumstances in their life. And the blatant colorism was frustrating and irritating to witness onscreen as well. Also, I never fully understood Lenny Kravitz's character. He just sorta appeared out of nowhere and we never saw how his relationship with Precious completely evolved from the start.

    All in all, I thought most of the film's actors did a great job. Did Monique give an Oscar-worthy performance? Perhaps to some but I think any decent actor can easily curse up a storm and behave horribly towards others so why should someone deserve an Oscar for that? Also, the Oscars are heavily skewed and completely overrated anyway but that debate is for another conversation. Mariah gave a decent enough acting job but the heavy attention she's been receiving for it is a bit disturbing. Gabourey did a stellar job but I don't support an Oscar nomination for her performance.

    My greatest fear with this film is of the lasting impression that it may leave with audience member (particularly white ones) where this film could be used as a "defining" experience of black people. Yes, there are bits and pieces of the film that I could definitely identify with but the film as a whole is horrifying over the top that I don't think most blacks could identify with her experience wholly. I just hope folks realize that this singular experience does not define us.

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  28. glad someone finally came out and said this shit....

    white folks love getting rich off the horror that exists within the urban ghetto's of America, always portraying things as they would like them to be, rather than how they truly are...

    Overstylizing, aggrandizing and thinly veiling still overtly racist and puzzling themes within these so-called "uplifting" tales...SMH...

    As a Latino cat that grew up with black folks I gotta say Hollywood has been doing all of us wrong for some time now....We need to stop elevating shit like this and start getting up with folks that desire to put out films that are more true to life....

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  29. Your words resonate across water. There must be a rejection of this film Transnationally -- the Diaspora holds ALL members of the cast, executive producers in particular culpable for adding to the oppression and marginalization that has rendered us hostage to colonialism, and whiteness and the havoc it reeks on our collective conscience…and they had us pay for this violence. Lee Daniels "poverty porn" as one attentive critique suggested needs reprimand and Daniels an open rebuke! Tyler, Daniels and a host of others who peddle the condition of our people under the guise of a warped prosperity parade clearly have no critical race analysis -- but those of us who are still clear need to make boldness and clarity the new normal. I saw the film at TIFF and when Daniels addressed the crowd, it occurred to me only then that he was the Monster's Ball hustler...I should have followed my spirit and LEFT promptly – my comfort: there will never be a next time. I know that he demonized darkness, fatness among other things, and that my rage will not soon be managed as the film [despite my efforts to not soak up the images by covering my face LITERALLY] and I must even months later recover from the cruelty and wickedness that my spirit was exposed to. I will pray for Lee Daniels soul.

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  30. Your words resonate across water. There must be a rejection of this film Transnationally -- the Diaspora holds ALL members of the cast, executive producers in particular culpable for adding to the oppression and marginalization that has rendered us hostage to colonialism, and whiteness and the havoc it reeks on our collective conscience…and they had us pay for this violence. Lee Daniels "poverty porn" as one attentive critique suggested needs reprimand and Daniels an open rebuke! Tyler, Daniels and a host of others who peddle the condition of our people under the guise of a warped prosperity parade clearly have no critical race analysis -- but those of us who are still clear need to make boldness and clarity the new normal. I saw the film at TIFF and when Daniels addressed the crowd, it occurred to me only then that he was the Monster's Ball hustler...I should have followed my spirit and LEFT promptly – my comfort: there will never be a next time. I know that he demonized darkness, fatness among other things, and that my rage will not soon be managed as the film [despite my efforts to not soak up the images by covering my face LITERALLY] and I must even months later recover from the cruelty and wickedness that my spirit was exposed to. I will pray for Lee Daniels soul.

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  31. Sabrina,
    You are so brave. You are so BRAVE. You have spoken truth to power. Although I haven't seen the movie "Precious" or read the novel "PUSH" I can say for some reason from the very beginning I was suspect based on the content. You see my husband and I are educators in an urban school system and we witness the issues, problems, celebrations, achievements etc of black girls everyday. I serve over 800 children in one week and my husband teaches over 150 every day so this is nothing new to us or those who are foot soldiers like ourselves. Like you I couldn't put my finger on it and I had decided not to rush to see this movie because that is is not a story that I need to see or that I need to share because I do on a daily basis. My husband and I discussed how this is a modern day, raw, uncut, "Color Purple" but even that movie had redeeming elements. I don't see any in Precious. Later next year I may decide to see it so I had justify and validate my commentary but until then I'm just not interested in discussing how fabulous it was. Thank you Sabrina for taking the time to digest and reflect. God bless you for your unwavering stance against those who embrace black pathology and try to sell it to us as art.
    Peace
    Chiquita

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  32. Sabrina,

    Thank you for your commentary.God bless you for your bravery!!1 I don't want to say much more because I don't think I will ever see this movie as being more than Black Pathology. Nuff Said
    Love ya
    Chiquita

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  33. THANK YOU for posting this message!!!! I literally wanted to take a shower after I watched the movie. It has become more and more clear to me that it's time for Black people to change the narrative and redefine how the world sees us. Movies give other people a view into our world and culture and so far the images that are proliferated about us have no real resemblance to the myriad images that make up the black experience. That movie was garbage, plain and simple, and there is really no justification for its being created. I have children who have a varied media interests, almost none of which have main characters who look like them. I feel compelled to be a part of the changes that will show us in a different light. Oprah, Tyler, Lee etc., if you cannot be part of the problem then at least stop lending your name and your clout to such horrible trash!

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  34. A hearty, solemn THANK YOU.

    As much as I respect Oprah, when I heard she had something to do with this movie I knew without doubt that it was going to be about incestuous black people having a hard time in life.

    This movie was recommended to me by a trusted friend so I suspended my own instinct in order to give this a chance ...much to my disgust and dismay.

    I also knew that white people would LOVE this movie to pieces. Whenever there is a clearly disfigured pictoral of life showing black people as "inherently retarded" and/or "animals" and/or "ignorant" and/or "violent and anti-social" they get to be superior rooted in their inherent superior whiteness once again. They get to reminisce about the time when all America wanted to be nothing more than simply white.

    This movie in my opinion is little more than a freak show.

    I do not celebrate this girl as a “star” ...she couldn’t possibly have been chosen for acting ability and since Monique wasn’t acting I can’t give her any kudos either.

    Who allowed a Down’s Syndrome baby to be in a movie and called an animal within earshot? Sorry but there isn’t enough money in the world for me to put my child there.

    They even suggest that the food black people eat is slop not fit for humans.

    I’m sure white people will make this movie a box office blow out success because it portrays black people as the unrefined, socially retarded, primal, sex addicts (especially black men) as they always knew in their hearts they are and now they get proof from blacks admitting to it, on target.

    So Monique gets a not from the Oscar people for selling black people down the river again, I hope she chokes on it.

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  35. I love this critique. It's the first one I've seen that went beyond the "moral of the story." While I think these real life stories are necessary, (not everyone is familiar with the lifestyle of Precious as you are, I love a different perspective. Great conversation starter. Thanks.
    Angela Dion, Author
    LET'S TALK ABOUT RACE: A workbook for safe, honest and productive group discussions

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  36. "In the end, I'm sick to death of Black pathos being exploited as art." Thank you. Here's my thing: What is the point of watching Precious — or anyone — be subjected to this kind of disgusting treatment? Is this movie going to do anything to make the lives of real victims better? Or is it just designed to make a privileged film festival audience feel "moved" by urban pathos? As our old editors might say, "What's the nutgraph?" I don't see one.

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  37. I haven't seen Precious for many of the same reasons that you've explored. I can't stomach degrading and violent black images and I also question the motives of the film's creators. Pathology Pimp is a new one on me but it fits perfectly. Thanks for an insightful post.

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  38. Precious takes a nosedive at the box office
    As of December 16 the movie has taken a nosedive at the box office from doing a sizzling $10,680 Over the Thanksgiving weekend,on 664 screens to a mere $1,929 three weeks later on 664 screens.

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  39. Well said. I was dragged along into watching this crapfest and was rolling my eyes at every moment. Lee Daniels is a hustler and a con artist who exploits the most extreme images of racism so he can make money off them. His "artistic" films are nothing more than repackaged mammies, sambos, bucks coons and the minstrels of the 30's and 40's.

    It hurts my heart that this con man is taking the black community back 60 years with his garbage filmmaking.

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  40. Thank You , I agree Monique can win an Oscar one day but not for this movie . I need to see this movie disappear, so thats why I hope none of them win so Precious and the "discussion" can go away

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