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[cert 15, 109 mins]

Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire is one of the most distinctive films of the year, and one of the most affecting too. Clareece 'Precious' Jones is an obese and impoverished African American teenager, systematically abused emotionally and physically by her mother and repeatedly raped by her mother's boyfriend. Pregnant by him for a second time, she is expelled from school, and recommended to attend 'Each One Teach One', an alternative education centre where she meets an inspiring teacher who prods her into seeing that there could be hope for a better life.

Director Lee Daniels tackles the story with often disturbing directness, particularly in the scenes of Precious's hellish home life, but provides the moments of humour and fantasy without which this would be unbearably horrific to watch. He also draws some remarkable performances from his cast, particularly from newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, who brings dignity to the stoic Precious and from Mo'nique, who gives an award-worthy portrayal of her resolutely cruel mother.

Young girl walking through street away from her school

Director: Lee Daniels

Starring: Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz

Level: AS, A2, KS4

Subjects: Citizenship, Film Studies, Media Studies

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