One last thing about Precious

I shoulda said this way earlier: Please see Precious for yourself.

This isn’t some Coke and gold circa 1986 shit. Won’t nobody accuse you of killing sisters and brothers in apartheid South Africa if you indulge your love of name-brand cola and dookie ropes.

Context:

I had a disturbing verbal altercation discussion with a random, aggressive woman from Ghana who had never heard that fried chicken consumption was a stereotype used to clown African Americans but still tried to bully me into agreeing that it was OK that Precious stole a 10-piece bucket of chicken because that’s how people get down in “the ghetto” sister about this fucking provocative movie at the Bed-Stuy version of Cheers. I did not bring up this movie or the book on which it is based. The instigator male bartender did by asking me what I thought of the flick and announcing my feelings about the narrative unevenness, the troublesome color politics, the pileup of visual stereotypes and the almost gleeful visual degradation of Precious’s large body to the bar full of Black women who loved the film.

So here’s a Hollywood happy ending:

I am no longer discussing Precious with people who ride for it. Sorry. If they want to believe that it’s OK for a brown-skinned director who already stated his bias against dark skinned, overweight people  to trot out corny, racialized stereotypes under the auspices of telling a “real” story in “da ghetto,” that’s fine. Feel how you feel, how you feel, how you feel, how you feel, feel, feel it. Word to Roy Ayers. In the sunshine.

 

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “One last thing about Precious

  1. Penny Wrenn

    I’m dying over here as I make Roy Ayers sounds at my desk and pretend my keyboard is a vibraphone.

  2. Vonda

    just finished reading all of your “Precious” posts and I think you make some great points. I haven’t seen the movie and I don’t think I will because I generally avoid movies about raping kids but something else had been bothering me about this movie in particular and wasn’t sure what, but then I read your posts and was like – exactly – I don’t feel like seeing yet another film about dark skin girls being fat, unattractive and dumb who can only be better by having contact with white or light-skinned people. Plus a comment about a comment – I agree with Michael that The Color Purple did black men no favors

    • smallmediumlarge

      One very important thing V: Precious isn’t dumb nor is she depicted as such! She’s not literate due to lifelong educational and parental neglect, but she can be quite clever. I hope my initial post didn’t suggest that she was dumb.

  3. Carla

    Just had to share Courtland Milloy’s review, “A film as lost as the girl it glorifies,” in The Washington Post: http://tinyurl.com/ygk63yt.

  4. Patricia Kayden

    Although I have no intentions of seeing Precious, it certainly is timely given the Shaniya Davis situation. Sexual abuse within families is real – I hope that this movie encourages victims to speak out.

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