Precious Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, tells the story of Clarice “Precious” Jones a 16-year-old girl, who lives with her abusive mother, and is pregnant with her second child as a result of her father repeatedly raping her. This film is unlike anything I’ve seen before and at times the violence and abuse is so excessive it made me cringe. The scene that stood out the most to me was when Precious comes home from the hospital with her new baby, and her mother starts beating Precious, because she’s jealous of her.
In this scene Lee Daniel’s combines extreme violence, pictures of Mama and Precious in the past, and gospel choir music. Using all these elements Daniels makes this scene so powerful and emotional.
In the beginning of this scene Precious walks in with the new baby, and Mama like usual is sitting on the couch smoking a cigarette. Mama at first is very calm and asks to hold the baby, and Precious let’s her. Then like a flip of switch Mama shows her true colors, and tosses the newborn baby aside to throw a glass at Precious’s head. From this scene you get the sense Mama will never change her ways, and is so selfish that she would toss an innocent baby aside just to punish Precious. While this violence is occurring, Daniels chose to add images of Precious and Mama together in the past, which really contrast the violence because the images of Mama and Precious show them looking happy and loving. This may be because the images were taken at a time when Precious’s father wasn’t abusing her, and neither was Mama.
The sound used in this scene combines loud vocals and gospel music. In the beginning of this scene the sound is very quiet and no non-diegetic sound is used. The audience only hears the diegetic sounds of the muffled T.V. in the background, the cooing of the baby, and the characters voices. Then as Mama throws the glass at Precious’s head the scene drastically changes, and the gospel music cues in and out of the scene as the violence occurs. As the audience hears glass and other furniture breaking, and the beautiful gospel music cues in and out which give me the chills I was so moved by this part.
Director Lee Daniel’s does an excellent job of capturing the high emotion in this scene. Although this part was not mentioned in the book, I think it was a great addition, and the audience got to see more sides to Precious and Mama.