Imagine if for most of your formative years, you struggled with being who you are because of intolerant people. Harsh, right? That is Alike’s (pronounced ah-lee-kay) reality in Pariah, the feature-length expansion of writer/director Dee Rees’ award-winning 2007 short film.
Synopsis: New comer Adepero Oduye, portrays Alike (pronounced ah-lee-kay), a 17-year-old girl who lives with her parents Audrey and Arthur (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister Sharonda (Sahra Mellesse) in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the sometimes boisterous support of her best friend, out lesbian Laura (Pernell Walker), Alike is eager to find a girlfriend. At home, her parents’ marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike’s development becomes a topic of discussion. Pressed by her mother into making the acquaintance of a colleague’s daughter, Bina (Aasha Davis), Alike finds Bina to be unexpectedly refreshing to socialize with. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity – sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward.
VIBE got a chance to screen the film and it’s deep. It’s a story that everyone will either see themselves in or someone they know in all of the characters. The writing was excellent and the people were real. It’s an inspirational tale that touches on a heavy subject matter that will make viewers laugh, cry and think. Watch the trailer:
Pariah, which has gained tremendous praise at the 2011 Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals, opens in LA, NY and SF on December 28th and expands throughout the country this winter.