PRECIOUS: THE COMPLEXITY OF RESILIENCE
Lee Daniels’ award-winning film, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire is a powerful and controversial cinematic narrative of resilience. After its release at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, Daniels recruited Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry as executive producers to help promote this independent, African-American art film (Mask, 2012). Precious was released nationwide on November 6 of that year, and won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Mo-Nique) and Best Screenplay. The film is based on Sapphire’s 1996 novel Push, which tells the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones, an overweight, illiterate, African-American 16 year old growing up in Harlem in the 1980s. According to Sapphire, in telling this story Push does not beat people over the head with a heavy-handed political commentary, but instead opens people’s hearts (Push Pictures, 2009). As a faithful adaptation of Push, the film portrays the world from Precious’ perspective and, although understated, Sapphire’s critical social commentary comes alive through Precious’ story (Push Pictures, 2009).
International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies
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