At the movies

The Precious Backlash

While the media cheers the new movie Precious from director Lee Daniels, Armond White of the New York Press has a few objections. The critic says that the story of an African-American teenager who is raped by her father and abused by her mother is a vehicle of “exploitation and opportunism” for Daniels and executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. Daniels, according to White, is a “shrewd pathology pimp” whose film is an “orgy of prurience.” “Not since The Birth of a Nation has a mainstream movie demeaned the idea of black American life as much as Precious,” White writes. White's final complaint is the film tricks white audiences into believing that it portrays an authentic African-American existence. “Some people,” he concludes, “like being conned.”