Over the weekend, Taro I had the opportunity to see Precious. I was floored by this movie. Having heard so much about the tough subject matter beforehand, I was actually kind of dreading it but I steeled myself and went ahead.
Well, I'm so glad I did. This is not a film for the faint of heart, as the sixteen-year-old protagonist is subjected to horrific abuse at the hands of her family. However, the film is ultimately an uplifting story about the triumph of the human spirit, and beauty and hope and love far outshine the ugliness.
I cannot remember the last time I saw a film that dealt so candidly and touchingly with the subject of breastfeeding. Indeed, one of the most moving and pivotal points of the film is when 16-year-old Precious, having just given birth to her second child, tenderly breastfeeds the baby for the first time while we hear hear a voiceover in which she expresses her deep love for the baby and her powerful desire to keep the child instead of giving it up for adoption. I'm not sure what the exact lines are, but as the baby latches on, Precious says something like, "I have what this baby needs. I am what this baby needs."
It was just so lovely to see breastfeeding portrayed in this deep and beautiful way. The scene is even more powerful in the context of the rest of the story -- knowing what kind of awful abuse Precious herself has endured at the hands of her parents, seeing the way that she bonds so sweetly with her own child is all the more moving and indicative of the character's ability to rise above her circumstances and change her own life and the life of her children for the better. A girl who had been devalued and treated like dirt for her entire life finds power and love through this natural act of mothering. I was profoundly moved.
Have you seen Precious? What are your thoughts? When was the last time you saw breastfeeding in a movie and how was it portrayed?