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Imagine that you were a child, a subject of domestic violence. You were abused, physically, mentally, and emotionally, by your parents. You were violated by your father, and had two unwanted pregnancies. You flee from home, and then you later learn that your father died and had AIDS, and you also have too. You then confront your mom, your heart now a stone and an unwavering wall of hatred unperturbed by her cries. You start with a new life, a new beginning, with your two sons, and two people that had helped you all throughout your misery.
Yes. Even of the first of sentences, we cringed at the thought. A child, barely the age of sixteen, abused, unwanted, unloved, and violated. Human society has been cruel, as we speak. Well, never had a movie spoken such truth about humankind nowadays.
A 2009 drama film directed by Lee Daniels, Precious is but one of a kind. It talks about the scenes in New York City's Harlem circa 1987, where an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
It started when 16-year-old Claireece Precious Jones (played by Gabourey Sidibe) lived with her abusive mother, Mary (played by Mo’Nique). Mary was a subject of domestic violence, having been physically and mentally abused by her husband. Precious had also been violated by her father, Carl (played by Rodney Jackson), and caused 2 unwanted pregnancies. Her first child, Mongo, had Down Syndrome, and was taken care of Precious’ grandmother, but Mary forced them to pretend that Mongo lived with Precious so that the government could give them extra money.
Her second pregnancy was with Abdul, and the high school principal transferred her to another school in hopes of changing Precious’ life. There, she met Blu Rain (played by Paula Patton), who taught her how to read and write, and also Ms. Weiss (played by Mariah Carey), who Precious confided with problems of the household life. When she went home, Mary hits her, as usual, and drops the newly-born Abdul, thus enraging Precious and allowing her to fight back and flee from the house. Precious stopped by the church and watched a group of children singing a Christmas song, and continued to the classroom where Blu finds her and allowed her to live in with her and her partner.
At the end of the story, Mary told her about Carl’s death from AIDS, confirming that Precious is indeed HIV-positive, but Abdul is not. Precious confronted her mother with Ms. Weiss, and at the end of the meeting, Precious was undisturbed by her mother’s tears, telling her that her abuse had gone too far, and she won’t be seeing her again. Ms. Weiss then refused to help Mary, who started to beg, because of the extent that Precious was abused.
“Now in a changed frame of mind, focused on improving life for herself and her children, Precious severs ties with her mother, takes custody of Mongo, and plans to complete a GED test to receive a high school diploma equivalency. She walks out into the city with both children in tow, ready to start a new life.”
I have watched it a long time ago, when I was still 10 or 11, yet its lessons are still etched in the back of my mind. And more so, when I am finally give a chance to put within it the lessons I’ve learned. In ways more than one, it talks about the different things or abuses and the lessons you can learn from it.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery,” (one of the Ten Commandments of Christian infidelity) and is clearly seen when Carl violated Precious, his daughter, and gave her two sons. Number two is “Thou shalt not lie,” which is seen in just a part of a movie when Mary forced them to lie to the government that Mongo is living under their care when in fact he was living with Precious’ grandmother just to earn money.
Number three is “Honor your mother and your father”. Though it was not portrayed, I find this commandment the most alluring of all. At the end, Precious chose not to see her mother again, despite the fact that she was in tears. We can all understand Precious in her case, but one thing that God only requires of us is to forgive and love. Precious may have been through too much, and suffered too greatly, but so had her mother. Precious hasn’t only been the one abused by her father, but I could also say that Mary didn’t even lift a finger to stop the abuse, but instead had inflicted upon Precious more abuse, for reasons we can’t fathom.
There are also many things present in this movie though. Precious once thought that Blu was lesbian, because Blu had a live-in partner who was also a girl. Next, Ms. Weiss refusal to help Mary can be sorted out to two things, and we can actually interpret her and Blu to be the bystander in bully scenes. They acted in kindness, which meant they have to go and help Precious, whilst on the other hand be like a bystander to Mary.
There are still other lessons, but it would take quite a long time to tell it. So why not go to the movie and share some of your thoughts, eh?