Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Rare is the genuine film, where all I see and hear makes me think, "yes, this is people."  Rarer still is the film that conveys such reality with beauty.  

Pariah is such a film, a classic yet refreshing coming-of-age story that follows Alike, a smart and sensitive 17-year-old girl in Brooklyn, as she deals with the confusion and heartache of being a young lesbian.  For Alike, the difficulty inherent in coming into oneself as a teenager is compounded by the familial and societal pressures for her to be a feminine, "normal" girl.  The actress Adepero Oduye imbues Alike's story with beautiful truth, as do the actors who play her parents, sister, and best friend.  This is a film that uplifts with realistic integrity: while the world often proves disappointing, the strength and beauty of this one young woman provides hope.  

{The cinematography is as beautiful as the story it supports.  All photo stills (c) Focus Features.}  

Anyone who has struggled with love, identity, expectations, friendship - basically, everyone - would empathize with Alike's story.  Pariah is currently available as a Netflix instant play.  My advice is to watch the film immediately.