Thursday, November 12, 2009

Learning from "Precious"


Ever since I first saw THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS the name Precious has conjured the image of a girl in a pit with a chicken bone and a bucket trying to lure Precious, the dog of her kidnapper, to the hole. The victim is dehydrated from lack of water and from crying. She can barely whistle. That image at once terrifying has become something comic as the years separate the initial viewing and what remains in my brain today.

Tuesday, Precious got in image update. She's big, unattractive, beaten down, victimized, abused, and somehow, finally, a winner. The Precious of which I speak is Claireece Precious Jones, the title character of the film Precious. The first thing I have to say about this film is how blown away I was by Mo'Nique's performance. It is the epitome of fearless when someone describes a fearless performance. I had heard all the buzz about this film and about Mo'Nique and about Gabourey Sidibe who plays Precious. But until I saw the film I had no idea what the buzz was really about.

I was at once sad, frustrated, angry, and scared. I've never had to live a life so beaten down by others. I realize it's a story of fiction, but I'm sure there are people in the world living life like Precious. I was living in her world for nearly two hours and I was uncomfortable. I had feelings of hate. Moments where I didn't want to blink or couldn't blink. Moments I didn't want to look at the screen, but couldn't turn away. Jaw-dropping moments as I stared at the gritty, dirty, nasty world she shares with her mother. Most of those same words could be used to describe her mother. A mother that couldn't, didn't, protect her child. A mother who sees herself as the victim and her daughter as the villain. Performances so fierce that I was left to ponder what's life like for these people after the credits. What happened tomorrow? Or the next week? Are they still alive?

Those feelings gave way to me feeling blessed. Blessed for the parents I have who love me. Blessed for the ability to read and write. Blessed for my good job. Blessed that, even though it's not exactly what I thought it was going to be, I have an apartment in a good neighborhood. Blessed that I have been given the ability to take care of myself.

I am having such a difficult time connecting myself to this situation. All I keep feeling is thankful that I'm not living in it. I have to be thankful everyday for the life I've been given. I have to do my best every day to not waste what I've been given. I've been trying to write this blog since Tuesday. Precious, finally getting into a school program in which she excelled, had to write every day. If I want to write a blog, I should write every day. Maybe I don't post the blog every day, but I should write something every day.

Life can not just happen around us. We have to step up and make things happen. There came a time for Precious when she took charge of her life. My situation is nothing like hers, but I wallow in self pity. Sometimes I think I'm happier there. Poor pitiful me. Those days need to end. I am truly thankful for my life.

See Precious. I think you'll be truly thankful for all your blessings as well. You'll also see an indie film that lives up to it's buzz.