Pariah: movie review

After hearing some great views of this independent black film, I had a chance to check it out at the cinema at Lincoln Center while on vacation from work. (BTW, must try their parmesan truffle popcorn, it’s to die for!!!!!)

Without spoiling the plot, Pariah (directed by Dee Rees & executive produced by Spike Lee) is a coming of age story about Alike, (pronouncec Ah-lee-kay), a young African-American lesbian from Fort Greene, Brooklyn struggling to embrace her identity and coming out to her family. Lots of themes are explored in this film including her complex relationship with her traditional, homophobic mother and her police officer father who seems to be in denial of his daughter’s sexuality. Complicating things further are her openly gay best friend, Laura who is eager to find Alike her first sexual partner and a bi-curious girl with whom Alike has a budding romance.

Regardless of sexual orientation, anyone can identify with the struggles of adolescence and establishing your own identity. The film is often compared to Precious which though cover vastly different subjects, also deals with that coming of age identity crisis as well.

The film also notably features Kim Wayans, sister of Director Keenan Ivory Wayans & comedian/actor Damon Wayans. If the only thing you remember of her is her comedic performances from In Living Color, you’ll be quite surprised at her dramatic performance as Alike’s mother.

View the trailer here…

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. giftnappyabyss
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 02:37:30

    I also had a chance to see the movie this week and was pleased that it wasn’t Precious in the senes that it was not gratuitously tragic. It focused on Alike’s angst and peril through her introspection and familial castagation. I appreciated the Afrocentric overtones in the way the father was adamant about the pronunciation of her name as if it was a metaphor for the upholding of their cultural patronage. Underlyingly, it made the inference that the mother’s misapropriation of Africanism was the abandonment of cultural expression which connotes the abondonment of sexual expression. I was turned off, however, with the scene of the white dialator strapped to her Alike’s pelvis, as this was a miscalculated deterrance from the ethnic truancy of the movie. It says that even the black lesbian is subservient to the effigy of white patriarchy when, by virtue of her feminism, she is supposed to abhor it.


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