Two nights ago, the Housemate and I watched Precious the movie. We were having a DVD marathon. On Tuesdays, the DVD rental shop near our place always have an offer where DVDs are rented out cheap. We, erm, sort of went a bit insane and rented eight DVDs. We managed to watch only half over the last two days. We were also starting to regret our mad impulses. We have been keeping late hours just to watch the DVDs (because we have day appointments and i have sports training at night). I have now developed a mild headache that usually only accompanies me when i have a severe lack of sleep during particularly hectic days in the hospital.

Anyway, Precious. I was attempting to multi-task; reading articles from The Lancet and watching the movie. Unfortunately, it was a near impossible task. The vulgarities that were spewed on the show! Every sentence was punctuated by at least two f-bombs. I could barely discern what the character (the main character’s mother) was trying to say; maybe that’s the whole point – she’s incomprehensible? And i was mildly impressed that someone can string more than one f-word into a relatively coherent sentence. I tried and had to pause a few times to get the structure right. It was funny.

But on the more serious side, the Housemate and I were quite shocked by the appalling living conditions. We do not know much about Harlem or the Bronx; is life really like that for these people? We were quite affected by the show, watching in silence at the brutality of the mother, and the fight for survival by Precious. Even after the credits have rolled, we just stared at the TV deep in thought.

HIV positive, two children after rape by her own father. Overweight because of a poor diet from the lack of money. A Down Syndrome child because she was younger than 16 and had no idea about antenatal screening. Injuries from abuse by her mother.

And the mother, behaving as such because her partner likes her daughter more than her.

It was a mess. How do you even begin helping these people? A mere social worker ain’t enough. The whole damn system needs to be overhauled.

It also made me wonder. A General Practitioner will make a greater difference than a General Surgeon in such instances. Maybe my Family Medicine rotation in the next few months may change the specialty i want to go into in the future.

But gosh, the movie was intense.


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