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