This evening I snuck out and saw the movie "Precious". I have heard so much about the film that I had to see it for myself.
This was a powerful movie. "Mommy Dearest" ain't got nothing on this one. "Raw" best describes this piece.
This is a "must see" movie but only IF you go into the theater ready to think and apply these powerful messages to many of the social/cultural/political/ethical/spiritual issues that we do battle over on a daily basis in this country and this world.
For me - though this was merely the dramatization of a novel rather than an autobiographical account of true to life circumstances - this film showed in an indisputable manner that the worst oppressor for the African-American today is NOT "Remnants of Slavery" or "Modern day oppression by White folks" - so few of which were even seen in the film. Instead the biggest threat to the development of the African American is:
- Sexual Lust
Instead of encouraging her daughter to develop her mind she instead encourages her to get on Welfare. Education is a waste of time and "you shouldn't be listening to those White folks, they'll mess you all up in the end" - or so the mother said.
The reason for her mother's resentment and abusiveness of her own daughter was detailed at the end of the movie (I won't give it away) but her reasons are hardly justifiable. In fact they were infantile; rantings of an adult with an underdeveloped consciousness. IGNORANT no less.
I actually was angered by certain people in the audience around me (young girls). Where as the dialoge that took place among the young girls in the movie was meant to extract a laugh out of the audience - the powerful closing sequence where the mother used words that were IGNORANT were not meant to draw a laugh. I found myself wanting to stand up and tell the young girls sitting around me to shut up and learn something. They were laughing at the most inopportune time of the movie. Thus they saw what was otherwise a powerful MESSAGE as simply entertainment. I am not sure if they really "got it" in any event.
My summary question that could supplant all that I have typed above is this:
How can a group of people look to have society show them that they are equal - equally deserving that is - IF this same group of people, while in the context of their own communities, cannot order themselves whereby they show respect for themselves and their brothers and sisters around them?
After years of monitoring independently produced DVDs as obtained from NetFlix and other sources I can say without a doubt that the most penetrating attack upon a Black person's consciousness and self confidence comes from the words that we say to each other and the disrespect and lack of dignity that is contained within at times.