Caroline Friday

Caroline Friday is a novelist and award winning screenwriter with several film projects in development for both television and theatrical distribution. She is also a 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Winner for spiritually uplifting screenplays, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Caroline currently serves as EVP of Sixth Day Media, LLC, a film finance and production company headquartered in the Atlanta area. She lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and three children and can be found at


PreciousSet in the year 1987, Precious tells the powerful tale of an obese, illiterate, sixteen-year-old African American girl named Claireece “Precious” Jones, who lives in a constant state of horrific mental and emotional abuse from her mother (wonderfully played by Mo’Nique). Based on the novel Push by Sapphire, the story opens with Precious living in a Section 8 apartment in Harlem, having been raped and impregnated for the second time by her father.

When the authorities at her junior high discover her situation, she is removed to an alternative school taught by the nurturing and encouraging Ms. Blue Rain. Despite her mother’s insistence that she is “stupid, dumb, no good, and ought a get on welfare,” Precious finally finds the love she needs from Ms. Rain and her fellow classmates and begins to have hope for a better life.

This is not a film I would recommend to any person, Christian or nonbeliever alike, who is looking for an hour and forty-seven minutes of Hollywood entertainment. The story is raw, violent in language and deed, gut-wrenching, and the images stay in the mind for days to come, hence the R rating.

However, it deals with an important issue that plagues many young girls (and boys, as the statistics reveal) and affects the lives of every member of the victim’s family—from the abusive parent, to the complacent parent, to the offspring born from this sin, to the grandparents who look on and silently turn the other way. It is a heavy dose of reality that opened the eyes of this middle-class, Wonder Bread–eating, Brady Bunch–lovin’ reviewer who had absolutely no clue that the horrors of this sin even existed, other than in the mind of some twisted, perverted novelist-screenwriter.

Fortunately for me, I was privileged to attend the movie with two incest survivors who attested to the story’s authenticity and power. One felt that she had been violated all over again, and both admitted that it dredged up deep memories from the past. But they had mixed emotions whether sexual abuse survivors should even see this movie. I can’t begin to answer that, but I do know that it opened a door of truth that had been closed to me.

Who then should see it, I asked myself? It has made $50 million at the box office so far and is the toast of the Hollywood awards galas, so obviously enough people in the world consider it worthy to be seen—and one cannot argue that it hasn’t touched a nerve in our society. My answer is this: Any member of the body of Christ who has love and compassion for hurting people in this world and who desires to help set those people free through the blood and power of Jesus Christ of Nazareth should see this movie.

All that being said, some uplifting, lighter moments in the film actually made me laugh, even if I felt guilty doing so. There was a rally of nice banter between Precious and her schoolmates, as well as Nurse John (played by Lenny Kravitz sans sunglasses)—never mind some of the expletives. Also, there were several tender moments between Precious and Ms. Rain, and Precious and her newborn baby, Abdul.

I also liked the way Precious’s imaginative mind created fantasies of her and her mom starring in an overly-dramatic black-and white-Italian film, of her Caucasian male math teacher speaking words of love from a photo album picture, and of Precious as a glamorous pop star with gorgeous men fawning all over her. But the funniest, and yet most heart-wrenching, was when Precious looked in the mirror and saw a beautiful, thin, blonde, white girl staring back, wearing an innocent expression and no sense of shame.

Despite the grit and horror, the one scene that burned most vividly in my consciousness is a poignant portrayal of the established church that claims to be a safe haven for girls like Precious. There she stood in the New York cold with her three-day-old baby in her arms, no place to run or hide, peering through the narrow cross-shaped door windows of the Thy Will Be Done church, wanting more than anything to enter but not daring.

Inside were men and women in blue robes, singing with joy to the Lord, oblivious to the hurting girl standing on the other side. Why didn’t she press her face against the glass or even tap gently against the closed doors? Could it be that she knew no one would answer? Could it be that she knew the singing would continue without a single blip or interruption? Sound familiar, anyone?

Go see Precious, but don’t go to feel sorry for the victims of this crime—go so that you may have eyes to see the “precious ones” in your sphere of influence who need to know about the One who died and rose again to set him or her free. For where sin abounds, the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ does that much more abound! Hallelujah and amen to that!