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Should Christians See 'Precious'?

What is the spiritual benefit of watching hard-to-watch films?

After reading Camerin Courtney's 3½-star review of Precious for Christianity Today Movies, I knew I wanted to see the film. Well, kind of.

Alongside other reviewers, Courtney made it clear that the film—about an obese, illiterate African American teenager who is HIV-positive and pregnant by her father for the second time—is often unbearable to watch. Filmmaker Lee Daniels and executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry were committed to capturing the rawness of their source material, poet Sapphire's 1996 novel, Push. (NPR has helpfully posted an excerpt from the book, though some of the language may be offensive). Sexual abuse and violence are pervasive themes throughout the film, which earned five Independent Spirit Award nominations last week.

Claireece "Precious" Jones's nickname is, of course, ironic. In others' as well as her own eyes, she's the antithesis of one who is esteemed, cherished, or beloved, as the American Heritage Dictionary puts it. Growing up ...

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