Thursday, 5 November 2009

Life is Criticised

I have been on Awards Daily reading the banter back and forth about how the critics are reacting to ‘Precious’. And boy, are they reacting.

Some of the reviews are down right scathing while others are praising the film to the highest heights

One critic, who I cannot remember (I have searched high and low, shame on me for not book marking) had a problem with Precious being desexualized (by playing match maker in one small scene in the film) and not being sexually re-educated in the film.
I wish I could remember his/her name so I could emailed them a typed version of a bitch slap.
I have spoken to social workers and counsellors and they have all said the same thing.
The type of sexual abuse Precious experienced will take a very long time to come to terms with. She may never properly function sexually again.

Being raped by your father from the age of three and then sexually abused by your mother is going to scar your psyche to levels that I cannot begin to understand.
Trying to tie it all up all that scar tissue in a 2 hour movie is ridiculous.

Some reviews are focusing on the fantasy sequences while skirting over any actual criticism of the film in general. It is almost as though they do not know why they do not like the movie but they don’t so they lash out at some small detail.

Prairie Miller seems to miss the point completely. She is up on her high horse without a saddle accusing the film of reinforcing
“white prejudices related to African American criminality, ghetto mothers as conniving, evil and violent welfare cheats, and habitual eating disorder fast food binges as sources of bad bodies and bad behavior alike.”
Whoa there honey!!! This film is coming from a black voice, which is beside the point. It is telling one story, inspired by the many stories Sapphire experienced whilst teaching girls how to read and write. One story cannot be responsible for representing society. Are all white 20 something women unable to control their spending whilst all middle aged white debt collectors boring, unattractive and petty just because ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ says so? Of course not.
What is Prairies’ real issue I wonder? She obviously did not like the movie, but to take one girls story and turn it into a critique of all black welfare mothers is preposterous. She seems to be searching for something that doesn’t exist in order to validate her reaction.

Some critics write ups come from a place of such anger and hatred you almost have to wonder what button it has pushed within them to cause such feelings – I almost feel like showing up with a large cup of hot chocolate and talking things out.
Others have said things that are so offensive and ignorant you almost want to laugh were it not so disturbing.
Ed Gonzalez of Slant is like the bully who pushes Precious to the ground, then laughs at her. His review is a frenzy of disgust for the film.

The egos on display are out of this world (in a way I secretly admire). So many critics say such bold statements “This film is terrible” when in fact what is accurate is “I think this film is terrible”. In their short wordy critique they have become Gods laying down their film commandments.

Perhaps I am just noticing the way critics are because I have never before loved a film so much to spend so much time reading reviews.
I occasionally glance at the reviews and if I like the film I tend to read the bad reviews to feel superior. This time the bad reviews made me really sad that people make take them as gospel.

I welcome bad reviews, I really do, even at the expense of a film I like. However with a film like ‘Precious’ all I ask for is a more intelligent argument that some of those put to print. Then again in writing this, I am not better. I am critiquing the critic.

After watching the below interview with Katie Couric I had a deeper sensitivity to the world Sapphire was describing, and you can see how deeply her experiences have affected her as a writer and as a human.
You read the papers and hear of horrible things inflicted upon children by their parents. Some are even worse than what Precious has to face.
There are girls, and boys, like Precious out there. They live/lived in similar situations and are mostly forgotten by the world en-mass and left to the social workers and welfare officers of the world.
‘Precious’ has given them a voice, but it really seems that some people want that voice silenced.

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