Not many Hollywood movies these days address HIV/AIDS, so I’m pleased to point out that the movie Precious--based on the novel Push by Sapphire--includes the virus in the plot. Starting on November 6, the movie will be in limited release nationwide.

The central character is a 16-year-old African-American girl named Precious. She is overweight and dark-skinned, which subjects her to ridicule from the outside world. At home, she also is subjected to incest by her father and abuse by her mother. A comedy this is not.

The movie has received lots of Oscar buzz and accolades for the actors. It also has gotten lots of media coverage. A recent example is an article by David Kaufman at the Daily Beast, who interviews Sapphire about her book and the movie:

“Sapphire sees her book as a tribute to the armies of behind-the-scenes activists -- educators, social workers, shelter volunteers, HIV counselors -- committed to keeping the Preciouses of the world from lifelong obsolescence.”
Spoiler Alert: I won’t tell you how Precious becomes HIV positive, but she does. The book was published nearly 15 years ago, so Kaufman asks Sapphire how Precious might have fared in today’s world:

“In my perfect world Precious got everything she needed to move forward, go to college, and create a life for herself,” Sapphire envisions. “But the world is imperfect, and Precious could easily be working as a home care attendant somewhere in Brooklyn, sick and unable to afford her AIDS meds.”
I look forward to seeing the movie when it premieres next month.

Watch the trailer: