Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Why Me?"

When the movie's main character/narrator, Precious, writes this in her class notebook, she broke my heart. As she considered her young life to this point, how far she had come under the worst circumstances imaginable, and how tragically unfair this latest turn of events was, she wasn't whining. She was defeated. That question, "Why Me?" was almost a cerebral question on her part. For all the extraordinary events she had gone through -- which I won't detail because I don't want to spoil the movie for you -- she began to cry that she had never even had a boyfriend. It broke my heart that she was still just 16, and that her wants and dreams were still so simple and so pure. She wanted a boyfriend.

This movie reaches in and manipulates your guts. There's only one scene of physical violence, but the language is so abusive and harsh it feels like surgery.

I won't apologize for being worried about my job and financial insecurities. I am 52 next week and am my own sole source of support. I have no relatives to lean on, and a couple who depend on me. I am scared, and would have to be beyond irresponsible to not face my situation head on and consider how to make it better.

On the other hand, I have gifts and advantages denied to Precious and kids like her. I am grateful for that, and am humbled by the reminder that, while Precious takes place in Harlem in the 1980s, I know there teens who live hopeless lives less than 20 minutes from where I sit.

I started the day watching good, old-fashioned courage and patriotism in The Fighting Sullivans. I capped the day with Precious, also an American tale of heroism. Film-making is an American artform, and I experienced two excellent examples of it today.

PS Precious got it's launch at this year's Sundance Film Festival, founded by Robert Redford. The Quintessential Golden Boy and Precious. It's hard to think of two movie characters with less in common, and yet they are tied together. I like that.

3 comments:

  1. I had trouble just watching the trailers for this movie - it hit me hard. I can't even begin to wrap my head around having a life so full of despair and trauma. And yet, you're right. It happens all around us, each day. How can you not be affected by it?

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  2. I can't wait to experience this movie. I only hope it comes to a theater near me. I suspect it won't though, it's not for kids and it's not a slasher.

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  3. I have really been waiting for this movie, I hope it plays in my town :)..

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