Starting today, we’ll finally be able to experience the much talked about Lee Daniels drama, Precious. The film has won plenty of accolades on the festival circuit and will have its opportunity to impress the general public with today’s release. A lot of people are waiting for the film to open in theaters nationally, but this week it will only hit L.A. New York, Chicago and Atlanta then gradually go from there.
Along with the positive reinforcements have come some negative views of Precious and its portrayal of certain individuals on a national scale. A debate has opened up that asks the question, does Precious enforce stereotypes?
One of the major debates surrounding the film is whether or not it’s a good representation of African-American women, plus sized women, or urban youth in general. Just yesterday we ran a story on co-star Mo’Nique, who plays Mary Jones the lead character’s abusive mother in the film. She admitted that it’s easy to judge the character on the outside, without taking the time to figure why she acts the way she does.
Over on The Grio, they ran a quote from Loren Pritchett, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University who took a different approach to the movie. She believes it reinforces age old stereotypes of African-American women.
“Movies like this are double-edged swords in the black community. On one hand it serves as an informative vehicle for discussion, but at the same time casts a label across the black community as a whole, leaving audience members of the opposite race throwing us all into one big troubled category.”
Although it’s easy to pick out the negative aspects of anything, we should definitely focus on the positive as well. The fact that this type of story is getting out is a step in the right direction. There are real girls no matter race or creed who are in abusive situations all over the world. Also, the fact that two ladies who aren’t considered the ‘Hollywood norm” are getting praise for their performances is another positive side effect. There are plus size actresses who can pull of dramatic material just a well as Meryl Streep, but aren’t given the opportunity to do so. This film is a double edge sword indeed, but it depends on the angle you’re looking at it.
What do you think about the Precious controversy? Does the film enforce stereotypes?