Executive Producer of "Precious" Leads Discussion of the Movie with Students and Faculty

On Tuesday, April 11 the Undergraduate Student Government Association and the Student Affairs Office of the NYU Silver School of Social Work presented the unique opportunity to view the movie Precious and engage in a conversation with the film's executive producer Lisa Cortes. About 25 faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate students gathered in the 1 Washington Square North parlor to watch the film and discuss the significance of art in relation to pressing social issues.

Cortes spoke on a broad range of topics and was excited to exchange ideas with students and faculty. She provided great insight on the process of converting the riveting, fictional novel Push into a thoughtful, well-done film, and discussed the difficulties of casting, funding, and promoting such a deeply touching piece. Cortes also led a conversation on how film can be used as a medium for social digestion of tough subjects. She highlighted the beneficence of exposing social maladies such as poverty, abuse, incest, neglect, and illness in film because of its natural ability to get an audience thinking and talking. Viewers around the globe were able to relate to and have a dialogue around the themes of the movie, instead of merely extrapolating a stereotype or one primary story.

The audience also asked a variety of questions, touching on how race, power, and positions of authority were addressed in the film, and how the role of social workers and teachers impacted the character's life. Students and faculty were able to bring their own field experiences to the table in a frank discussion with an artist who has a hand in shaping public opinion on social services. This open dialogue helped explore the different ways media and art can be used as an effective vehicle to express concern and rally knowledge around today's social issues.