The bestselling novel Push -- about an overweight, HIV-positive Harlem girl who's pregnant as the result of incest has been made into a film and received a couple of awards this year at Sundance. The independent production, directed by Lee Daniels whose recent film Shadowboxer was his directorial debut. Before that, he was producer on heavy fare like Monster's Ball and The Woodsman.
The book was written by Ramona Lofton under the pseudonym Sapphire and was published in 1996. It tells of an African-American teen named Clareece "Precious" Jones whose miserable life starts to look up when a teacher takes an interest in her. Paula Patton (Idlewild, Deja Vu) will play the teacher; a newcomer named Gabourey Sidibe -- who auditioned among 300 other girls -- will play Precious. Mo'nique plays her wretched mother, and Lenny Kravitz plays a kindly nurse who helps Precious, even Mariah Carey has a role in the film.
I haven't read Push, but the descriptions of its content are pretty harrowing. The girl is illiterate ... bullied by her mother ... she has HIV ... she's pregnant for the second time with her own father's child. According to my filmmaker friend Debra Wilson, who attended Sundance this year to promote her new film Mississippi Damned, "Push is powerful!"