On October 22, NASW participated in an advance screening panel for a powerful new movie called Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. This film chronicles the harrowing journey of an obese, abused and illiterate teenager in New York City who seeks a better life for herself and her two children. Lee Daniels directed an all-star cast including comedienne Mo’Nique, rising star Paula Patton, and rocker Lenny Kravitz, and introducing Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe as Precious. In a surprising twist, pop diva Mariah Carey plays a no-nonsense social worker, Mrs. Weiss, who confronts Precious’ mother about incest and other physical and emotional abuse of her daughter. Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry served as executive producers for this gripping story of personal triumph over family violence and social isolation.
During the discussion portion of the screening–coordinated by Liquid Soul Media in partnership with Lionsgate Productions–more than 300 Baltimore and Washington area residents discussed issues that included:
- Education as the pathway from poverty and despair
- Value of community networks and service coordination
- Impact of untreated mental illness on families
- Risk-taking and courage when reporting abuse
- Increased and sustained funding for prevention programs
- Reducing isolation among vulnerable children and teens
Questions for social workers: Do you plan to see the movie? Do you have any expectations about how the social worker character will be portrayed? Leave a comment below.
NEW: Join a discussion of this movie and others, current TV shows and news coverage…from a social work perspective. Visit our new social media driven site, SocialWorkersSpeak.org today!