Last night, board members, staff, supporters and volunteers of The Kempe Center and Foundation attended the premiere of “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” during the Starz! Denver Film Festival.
As we walked in to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, many of us did not know what to expect. “Precious” has received awards buzz and attention for its phenomenal acting and controversial depiction of sexual and physical abuse. Like many in the audience last night, I brought a bundle of Kleenex in preparation of what I was about to see.
The heroine of the movie, the titular “Precious” is immediately captivating. Despite all of the devastating challenges in her life, she manages to escape to a dream-like fantasy world where nothing bad can happen to her. With insurmountable obstacles that might break any other person, Precious powers through with a determination that put me in awe of the resiliency of the human spirit.
Director Lee Daniels and producers Sarah Siegal-Magness and Gary Magness did an excellent job of executing the heavy nature of the topic while maintaining authenticity and realism. The characters were perfectly cast with actors who brought the film to life and connected the audience to each of their complex roles. I became so invested in the characters that there were times when it almost physically hurt to watch the movie. Mo’Nique especially shocked me as the appallingly villainous mother, who transformed so much into the character that every time her name was even mentioned, a sickening feeling of dread came over me. What amazed me even more was how funny many parts of the movie were.
As soon as the movie ended, we all sat in a stunned silence, not really knowing exactly what to say. After a while, we began to talk about the powerful story and stellar display for our heroine, nothing could break her spirit as she continued to push herself into a better life. This movie is not easy to watch, but it is worth every minute.