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Poverty, child abuse, HIV/AIDS, incest, rape, drug epidemic and welfare are subjects considered taboo for some, but not for Lee Daniels, director of Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. Topics like these are explored heavily throughout the movie and told brilliantly through the direction of Lee Daniels.

Stories about real life experiences need to be told, it reminds us that people aren’t living in a perfect world.  The harsh realities portrayed in Precious are still common to young people around this country. I remember the drug epidemic of the late 80’s and early 90’s.  I remember the red tops, and green tops in puddles of water while I played in school yards.  I’ve seen damaged mothers abuse their daughters physically and emotional. I’ve seen ignorance squeeze its ugly head into the lives of people who only wait day after day for that check in the mail. I’ve seen fathers destroy families and today in many parts of this country its still going on.  It’s sad because I believe our generation is the best generation.  It’s just that our eyes aren’t open at times and we continue to impede ourselves instead of progressing ourselves and it hurts me sometimes because I know we are better than this. And that’s why I enjoyed the movie so much because Precious could have continued to subject herself to her mother’s abuse, but she didn’t, she fought back. And I believe our generation can do the same, we can fight back against the ills that infect our communities and our lives.

Stories like Precious need to be told.  It shows people and tells people “yes this is happening” “yes this is real”.  So I applaud Lee Daniels in his direction of this film. His ability to tell a story no matter how gritty, graphic, or shocking is remarkable. Now on the night of the Oscars; I hope the Academy feels the same way, because in the history of the Academy Awards, the directing in a motion picture award has never been won by an African American. It’s time for that to change. No African-American has ever won best director, and only two have ever been nominated: John Singleton for 1991’s Boyz n the Hood and now Lee Daniels for 2009’s Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. That is amazing. It goes to show that diversity hasn’t played a huge role when it comes to black directors winning Oscars.  In recent years, on the other hand, wins for best acting by Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, and Halle Berry has showed that the Academy has been paying more attention to those roles played by black actors; hopefully this year the Academy’s scope will be focused on Lee Daniels. 


When a director can make an actor turn in an amazing performance then they have done a great job. In Daniels case, he has done this three times; in 2001 he helped Halle Berry win an Oscar for her role in Monster’s Ball and now in 2010 he brought us two amazing performances from Mo’Nique and newcomer, Gabourey Sidibe. Both are nominated for Academy Awards for their performances in Precious, Gabourey Sidibe for best actress and Mo’Nique

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