Posted by Clarence Jones

Have you seen “Precious?”

I haven’t.  At least not yet, but I plan to see it this week. If the movie is half as intense as the buzz that I have been hearing, it is a movie to put on your public health must see movie list. However, a small warning to those brave souls who will join me in this challenge. I have heard, from all of my sources, that this is not a movie for the young, faint of heart, the squeamish, or those individuals who don’t like swearing.

This story is adapted from a 1996 novel by a Harlem school teacher, who may be well acquainted with the subject matter. It is a story of a 350-pound Black girl who has two children by her father and appears to have no redeeming value or support system. She has the opportunity to attend a school where concerned individuals help her discover the unique person that she is and provide support for her growth (this is the sanitized version. It is supposed to be a lot more intense than this explanation).

What will be worth the price of the movie for me has been watching people deeply engrossed in the issues of maternal health, pregnancy prevention, child abuse, parent-child communications, nutrition, peer pressure, obesity, welfare, children’s health, mental health, education and hope, all in the same conversation. Sometimes a picture truly is worth and can create a thousand words.

Periodically a movie, book or event comes along to help us understand the importance of the work that we do, and how those of us who are involved in public health can make a difference in other people’s lives.  This may be one of those movies to help clarify our thoughts and inspire us to greater heights.

Let me know what you think.

P.S. Oprah liked it!