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The film Precious was the darling of the film festival circuit in early 2009, earning rave reviews at Cannes, Sundance and Toronto.

And the buzz surrounding it has continued all the way to the industry's most sought after event. It is in the running for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Director.

The story of Precious has touched off a raw nerve and sparked vigorous debate in African-American communities in the US, especially in Harlem, New York where the movie was filmed.

There are concerns its portrayal of poor, black people will do them more harm than good. Ultimately, the film throws an uncomfortable and confronting spotlight on many of society's unspeakable crimes.

Cath Turner reports from Harlem, New York.

Source: Al Jazeera