Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Will Precious Contribute More to Our Precious Problems?

by today’s Urban Chameleon contributor

The soon to be released film, Precious, based off the novel Push by Sapphire is making the festival rounds with the backing of Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. The film stars a young teenage girl living in Harlem with her dysfunctional family; impregnated twice by her father and physically abused by her mother who is played by Mo’Nique who (I can’t even front) is giving it to us from the trailer. The film also stars Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton and Mariah Carey who lawwwwwd I cannot believe she allowed herself to be seen with out soft gel lighting and a Photoshop airbrush.

However, I can’t say I’m hyped to see this film. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t abused as child or maybe I was abused and don’t need Precious reminding me or maybe I’m just sick and tired of 99% of the few mainstream Black films released being connected to poverty and dysfunction. There are about eleven genres of film (action, adventure, comedy, crime& gangster, epics & historical, horror, musicals, science fiction, war and drama) and Black films for the most part cover only one of those genres, the same poverty stricken, dysfunctional- let me uplift myself with either the lord or a bustin’ a rhyme- drama.

Since media contributes as one of the largest influences over people’s perception do we really need Precious? A writer friend of mine had me chuckling as someone attacked him for not supporting the film, emphasizing a point Oprah apparently made, which had something to do with that, "Never again will we ignore Precious." In which my friend replied, “Oh no we know exactly who precious is, my problem is that white people think we’re allllllllll Precious.”

In all fairness I wouldn’t have a problem with Precious if there were other kinds of films released that showcased broader experiences of people of color. Out of all the Vince Vaughn and Seth Rogen movies you mean to tell me we can’t we get at least one regular romantic comedy out this piece?

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