Pariah: movie review

'Pariah' shows the struggles of a teen with her sense of identity in a moving and soulful way. 

  • close
    Director Dee Rees on the set of "Pariah."
    Focus Features
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

Sundance fave “Pariah” began its life as a prize-winning 2007 short film before writer-director Dee Rees expanded it into this uneven but often touching feature starring Adepero Oduye as Alike, a 17-year-old African-American who lives with her parents (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister (Sahra Mellesse) in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and struggles to claim her identity as a lesbian.  

The filmmaking is often wayward, the scenes of confrontation sometimes too stagey, but Oduye is a marvelous young actress with a camera-ready face brimming with soulfulness. She makes us feel Alike’s emotional conflicts in an almost kinesthetic way. Grade: B (Rated R for sexual content and language.)           

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.