Last week we mentioned that the novel Push, written by Harlem schoolteacher and poet Sapphire and a popular multi-cultural reading assignment hereabouts, had been made into a film and was debuting at the Sundance Festival. Last night the film won the Festival’s jury and audience awards in the U.S. drama category, and a special jury prize for Mo’Nique as the teen heroine’s abusive mother. The New York Post‘s Lou Lumenick described Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire as “roughly a Harlem version of The Color Purple minus Steven Spielberg’s schmaltz,” and calls Mariah Carey’s performance as a social worker (!) “very well played.” Blogging Sundance says the premise “is so unsettling and bleak that no one would blame you if you didn’t want to see it,” but a “feeling of hopefulness, not the awfulness that precedes it, is what you’ll take with you when the film is over.” The film has no U.S. release date, but should get one quickly now.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 25, 2009