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A lot has been made of the fact that this is a movie about a "black teenage girl coming out". I guess I really don't see at all what the relevance is, if any, of the race or color in this movie. What I saw was an intense family drame, set in contemporary Brooklyn, New York. It's not even so much a "lesbian" movie. I came away impressed by the fact that this is writer-director Dee Rees' debute film, as the movie certainly doesn't feel like the work of a novice.
There are a number of acting performances worth noting, none more so of course than Adepero Oduye in the role of Alike, but also Kim Wayans as Alike's mom and Charles Parnell as Alike's dad. Last but not least, there was plenty of great music featured in the movie (unfortunately the credits went by so quickly I barely had time to register all the music that was featured, although I did notice that Reema Major has 5 or so songs credited). In all, I thought that "Pariah" was well worth it, and I would readily recommend this if you are looking for something good to watch outside the Hollywood commercial mainstream.
This is a film that should have received a wider screening than it did. That it was critically hailed was well deserved. That it is now available on DVD is truly cause for celebration. Buy this film, and keep your eyes and heart wide open while watching it.
I even went out had bought the soundtrack and fell in love with Honeychild Melon ("Echelon"), Apollo Heights ("Dress You Up") and Kandi Cole, etc. Wow.
Alike/Lee (Adepero Oduye, a fine young actress who hails from Brooklyn by way of Nigeria, a graduate of Cornell University who has studied acting with Wynn Handman, Austin Pendleton, and Susan Batson) is a 17-year old sexually conflicted girl who lives in Brooklyn with her younger very bright sister Sharonda (Sahra Mellesse) and her parents - police detective father Arthur (Charles Parnell) and conservative, overprotective, biased mother Audrey (Kim Wayans). Alike is an excellent student, a blossoming poet, and a lesbian: she maintains tow life styles complete with clothes changes so that she can be the `daughter' at home and herself outside the home. Alike's best friend Laure (Pernell Walker) is her support system as Laure is comfortable about being out as a lesbian. Alike's home life is strained as her ever arguing parents disagree on many factors, on of them being Alike's need to appear like a man. Audrey arranges for Alike to become friends with Bina (Aasha Davis) who is the daughter of one of Audrey's friends, an encouragement that eventually leads to Alike's surprise first sexual experience with a girl who is just `doing her own thing' - ie, not a lesbian.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think this has some solid acting and writing, but it is slow and doesn't seem to create the turbulence a religious family setting would cause for a gay teen.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Loved and still love this movie so much watched because it has Aasha Davis - South Of Nowhere, Drunk History and more. The whole cast is amazing group of fun friendless ppl . Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sweetearth1161
I liked this movie a lot more than I thought I would. Very touching story.Published 9 months ago by April E. Syverson
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