DVD Review: Pariah

Being a teenager is hard enough as it is.

Now imagine Alike's (Adepero Oduye) situation. She's a lesbian hiding it from her conservative and domineering parents. She brings a change of clothes to school so they don't know, she spends her time at clubs with her friend, Laura (Pernell Walker) who her mother hates. When her mother essentially picks out a friend for her, she toys with her emotions even more. Alike is a smart girl with absolutely no support from her family.

This film really moved me. You know an actress is good when you literally just want to reach through the screen and hug their character. That's how I felt about Alike. Every time someone screwed her over I just wanted to tell her that it'll be ok and things will get better. As a parent I found the film a bit frustrating. I could never reject my own child because of their sexual orientation. How terrible is that? When Alike tells her mother she loves her, and mom's response is "I'll pray for you." That just broke my heart. It breaks my heart even more to know that parents like that actually exist. I look forward to more films by director Dee Rees. She made one hell of a film.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "I'm not running, I'm choosing." - Alike (Adepero Oduye)


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