Many of us are victims of something. The description of teenager Precious as fat and black and illiterate, pregnant for the second time after years of being raped by her father and living with her violent mother, is enough to feel she is a victim.

And she is. But however awful her mother has been, she too is a victim. Her actions can’t be condoned, but they can be explained.

Gabourey Sidibe

Getting expelled from her school and being sent to another that specialises in helping those who need it most, turns out to be exactly what Precious needs. Her teacher Ms Rain cares about the girls and helps them develop more than their reading and writing skills. For the first time Precious has friends, and she makes another in a nurse at the hospital where she gives birth.

Paula Patton

Precious is a marvellous film about finding yourself and maturing and doing something about your life, however hopeless that life may seem at the beginning. The teenager works hard at becoming a new person; someone who can support herself and her two young children, away from her mother.

Setting the film in the late 1980s also means that there is another spanner thrown into the works, called Aids. That’s almost too much to bear when you consider what Precious achieves.

At Cornerhouse now.


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