Saturday, 11 September 2010
Rarely is a film even close in quality to an excellent book it depicts. “PRECIOUS” is a rare exception to that artistic rule. The film is as intensely painful as Sapphire’s classic novel “PUSH”. It is equally raw as it exposes toxic parenting and incest. It is equally graphic as it reveals the suicide of self-hatred and the pathology of ignorance and cyclical physical and sexual traumas. It is equally triumphant as it exhibits the invincible power of self-esteem and self-love.
I was impressed with how tastefully the incestuous sex scenes were shot. The film expertly engaged viewers’ carnal imaginations rather than bombard our senses with explicitly pornographic imagery. The tragedies within this film were interspersed with healing humor and defiant hope that eased the emotional wounds we shared with the heinously abused Precious.
The eurocentrism in the film was excruciatingly authentic. So many blacks who are traumatized by black people in horrid black neighborhoods grow up to associate everything that is good exclusively with white people and eurocentric cultures. From Precious’ romantic obsession with a white male teacher to her envisioning herself as a thin blonde girl in the mirror, it is clear that Precious has come to typically hate blackness in general.
White supremacy is most intense when it is desperately embraced as a tool of emotional salvation. Ironically, the very same white supremacy that soothes Precious sabotages this film. This excellent film is marred by the glaring flaw of rabid colorism.
Virtually all of the most abusive and monstrous characters in this film are dark skinned. All of the most angelic and educated characters are light skinned. That is inexcusable and will do nothing to save the black souls of all of the real life ebony skinned self-loathing clones of Precious who will view this otherwise superbly realistic film.
It is uniquely revolutionary to see positive homosexuals in any black film. So, why could at least one of the lesbian lovers not be a dark skinned beauty with lovely nappy locks? Why could the kind male nurse not be dark skinned and the cruel, incestuous, and rapist father light skinned?
The most appalling incident of colorism was in the unrealistically yellow skin tones of both babies born to two persons as dark skinned as Precious and her pedophile rapist father. Clearly, the love of these two yellow skinned children was the saving grace of Precious’ cursed life. Would the medicinal light of their dual love in her entirely bleak life have been negated by their dark skin?
Today, toxic young parents have become a genocidal norm in black America. That is why this film is so very important. It nobly tackles necessary issues of illiteracy, incest, and self-love in expert fashions. These increasingly common social ills are festering wounds in America. All wounds heal best in open air. Sadly, the festering wounds of rabid colorism seemed to be enforced as starkly as they were examined. This was a grave flaw that could have easily been rectified.
The final credits of the film dedicate it to precious girls everywhere. Many dark skinned precious girls do battle with white supremacy and colorism in all arenas incessantly. I love this film. But, I would have loved it even more if it had featured just one positive person with skin that was not yellow. This superior film would have been absolutely flawless if I had seen just one person on screen that was positive and dark skinned like me.
SAPPHIRE’S NOVEL “PUSH” BECOMES THE SCREEN GEM “PRECIOUS”
I am a realist. That is why I am a loyal fan of Lee Daniels and all of his stellar work. I admire him as a beautiful and out gay man. I revere him as a gifted director of edgy raw dramas. His films are always passionately real, deeply cerebral, and hauntingly complex. Most films seek to escape reality. Lee’s brave films hypnotically wallow in reality. That is why I adore all of his films.
I am also a true fan of Sapphire. She is a renowned author and poet who is equally brave and gifted. Her raw and rebel work includes a classic and prophetic poem about Michael Jackson and the fatality of homophobia and white supremacy, featured in her classic 1999 book of prose entitled "Black Wings & Blind Angels: Poems". Had Michael’s sane homosexual spirit not been tortured to death by the typically homohating Jehovah Witness religion or tormented by his groupie loving heterosexual whore father and brothers, perhaps he could have grown to be a happy and mature homosexual man. But, like so many deeply closeted gay priests driven to pedophilia by the insanity of forced celibacy and psychoses of religious self-hatred, Michael went visibly insane before he died.
As a fellow lesbian, I idolize Sapphire’s rebel courage and candor. Sapphire’s uncensored truths combined with Lee Daniels unmatched vision can only fashion creative perfection. I expect only sheer excellence from these two superior artists. A superb cast and monied producers like Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey only enhance a project destined to be great. Both Perry and Winfrey have bravely revealed their own experiences as sexually abused children.
Toxic parenting is the greatest gaping wound in America! Wounds heal best in open air. Sapphire’s legendary novel “Push” simultaneously exposes toxic parenting, extreme sexual child abuse, and colorism. Daniels’ film is certain to expertly illuminate these festering wounds. Hopefully, they will also spark belated and healing discussions.