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A teenager must choose between the life she wants and the path her parents have picked out for her in this independent coming-of-age drama. At home, 17-year-old Alike (Adepero Oduye) is a sweet and soft-spoken girl who tries to follow the wishes of her straight-laced mother (Kim Wayans). However, there's another side of her that her parents don't know about -- Alike is a lesbian, and with her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker) she slips out to downtown dance clubs where she feels free to be open about her sexuality, though she's still working up the courage to act on her desires. As she becomes more mature, Alike is torn between living the sheltered life her parents want for her, the club-hopping lifestyle Laura has already embraced, or something that lies in between, like her neighbor Bina (Aasha Davis). PARIAH was the first feature film from writer and director Dee Rees, who adapted the story from her award-winning short film of the same name. PARIAH was an official selection at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "A potent film and a standout debut..." - 09/18/2011 Box Office
"At its soulful heart, PARIAH is a stinging street-smart story..." - 12/28/2011 Los Angeles Times
"The coming-out/coming-of-age story is almost a genre of its own, but PARIAH has a fresh and distinctly urban take, anchored by an affable lead performance." - 12/30/2011 USA Today
"PARIAH wouldn't work without Oduye's luminous performance, capturing the emotional nuances of a character not prone to letting her emotions show..." - 12/28/2011 Movieline
"[T]he film has an abiding sweetness thats ultimately irresistible..." - 12/29/2011 A.V. Club
"At its heart is an incandescent performance by Ms. Oduye, who captures the jagged mood swings of late adolescence with a wonderfully spontaneous fluency." - 12/30/2011 New York Times
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[W]hat we're seeing here is the emergence of a promising writer-director, an actor and a cinematographer who are all exciting, and have cared to make a film that seeks helpful truths." - 01/04/2012 Chicago Sun-Times
"[A] remarkable debut feature....[Oduye] gives a performance, first heartbreaking and later thrilling, that swings between the darkness of spiritual isolation and the incandescence of self-discovery..." - 01/06/2012 Wall Street Journal
"Rees presents this vivid, hidden culture with raw honesty..." -- Grade: A - 01/13/2012 Entertainment Weekly
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] stirring and heartfelt journey. And Oduye is unforgettable." - 01/19/2012 Rolling Stone
4 stars out of 4 -- "PARIAH feels a lot like life, at its most confusing, contradictory and exhilarating." - 01/06/2012 Washington Post