I’m teaching Race and Ethnicity again this semester, and I’m having my classes read Eugene Robinson’s Disintegration. In his chapter on the “abandoned”, he discusses Precious at some length. I had been wanting to watch the movie for a very long time and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

It was… extremely powerful. And very different from what I was expecting. Ironic as this will sound, I expected it to be darker. Or maybe I should say I expected it to be much more graphic than it was. I appreciated that I didn’t have to worry about showing it in class (I’m confident that my college students can handle the F word; I’m less comfortable showing sexually explicit material in a classroom setting – never mind that I’m the person who’s used The People vs Larry Flynt and Brokeback Mountain as educational material). But Precious as a narrator was amazing, and compelling, and just… amazing. Gaby Sidebe was just… I don’t have words for how blown away I was by her performance, and by Mo’Nique’s. Mo’Nique earned the hell out of her Best Supporting Actress Oscar, that’s for sure. The penultimate scene, in the counselor’s office? I almost couldn’t take it.

So. Required viewing. Amazing. But be prepared to be uncomfortable.


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