Back in November 09, I was finally able to see the movie “Precious” (Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire). I had not read the book prior to seeing the film, but friends who had “warned” me about what to expect.
To put things mildly, what I was told really didn’t prepare me for what I saw. I mean I left the theater without being able to close my mouth from shock.
There were several scenes that had me about to break down in major tears but somehow I was able to keep from going there. The emotional/sexual/physical abuse, overt colorism, etc were almost too much. But… the story of a young woman fighting to survive for her sake & the sake of her children helped me make it through the movie. I was hoping that this girl who had everything against her finally won.
Once I got home, I sat down to figure out how I was going to talk about the movie & was stuck. I guess I was stuck because I felt like I was missing something. What did the movie not cover from the book. And I also wanted to know more about Precious’ friends from the “alternative.” So, at this point, I logged onto Amazon & purchased “Push.”
I’ve read the book & it filled in all of the holes that I knew were missing and I was satisfied knowing the complicated back-stories of Precious’ friends.
One thing that stuck with me through the book was this passage from chapter 1:
“I big, I talk, I eats, I cooks, I laugh, watch TV, do what my muver say. But I can see when the picture come back I don’t exist. Don’t nobody want me. Don’t nobody need me. I know who I am. I know who they say I am-vampire sucking the system’s blood. Ugly black grease to be wipe away, punish, kilt, changed, finded a job for.”
Is the book hard to read? Yes! The vernacular is written phonetically & some may struggle with that as I’ve heard.
Is the book graphic? Hell yes! The book makes the movie look like a PG rated after school special.
My favorite laughable take aways from the book not fully played out in the movie? “Cunt Bucket.” & “Hasta la vista, baby.”
“She look at me like I said I wanna suck a dog’s dick or some shit. What’s with this cunt bucket? (That’s what my muver call women she don’t like, cunt buckets. I kinda get it and I kinda don’t get it, but I like the way it sounds so I say it too.)” ~ Precious
“My muver say, “Eighty –six that bitch.” I says into the intercom. “Hasta la vista, baby.” That’s Spanish for good-bye but when niggers say it, it’s like, kiss my ass.” ~ Precious
Without a doubt, “Push” is a MUST read, if you’ve seen or want to see the movie “Precious! The short novel fills in the missing links & believe me there are many. This is surprising because the book is a quick 192 pages compared to the 110 minute movie.
Flash forward one mo’ gin’ (Negro Dialect)>>>>>>>>>>>>
This past Monday I attended a MLK symposium talk sponsored by the University of Michigan titled “Push, Literacy, Women, and African American Literature” given by poet & novelist Sapphire.
Sapphire coming to town was too much like right! While at the talk, I planned on getting my book autographed & asking some of the pressing questions on my mind regarding the movie & book.
After the very exciting session was said & done, I wasn’t able to get my book signed but I did get the chance to ask two of my three questions which are addressed in the audio link here.
I wish I could have asked my 3rd question regarding the content on 111 para 4. I just wanted to be sure that what I read was what I read & not what I was thinking it was.
A few of my Tweets from the Talk:
- I’m at the Sapphire lecture & the hall is almost at standing room only. Wow! http://twitpic.com/yoj1t http://twitpic.com/yoj1h
- Sapphire is reading from “Push.” I’m loving this!
- White people are leaving the Sapphire’s talk. I guess they cannot handle her reading from “Push.” Interesting!
- Standing in line to ask Sapphire a question. http://twitpic.com/yow8y
- I actually talked with Sapphire. Posting audio later. I’m excited!!!!
- Sapphire just read this woman who tried to read her. Shit!!!
- Male rape victim now at the mic talking to Sapphire. Wow!
- The line was way too long to get my book signed by Sapphire but I was able to get a photo. Yes! http://twitpic.com/yp4kx
Did you see the movie, read the book or both? What are your thoughts?