Thursday, March 22, 2012

PARIAH: Every Teen's Story

Adepero Oduye  as Alike in "Pariah" (2011)
I am so excited that I can finally say that I've seen the critically-acclaimed film Pariah!  It's been playing at Pleasant Street Theater in Northampton, MA for the past week and a half and has been playing in selected theaters nationwide since December of 2011.  Thanks to Out for Reel LGBT Film Series and Amherst Cinema/Pleasant Street Theater for bringing this important film to our area.

I advise that everyone, teenagers, parents, teachers, mentors, siblings, anyone who has been a teenager (practically everyone) to see this film.  Coined as a coming of age story about a black queer teenager, I am confident that everyone will connect to this film.  The protagonist, Alike (Adepero Oduye), begins to navigate cultural politics associated with her sexual identity and negotiates the stakes of important relationships, including those with her parents (played by Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell), her best friend, Laura (Pernell Walker), and her poetry.  Just like everyone young and old, she's trying to find out where she fits in the world:  the reality of humanity.

By the way, I want to congratulate Kim Wayans (of "In Living Color" and comedic notoriety) for a successful job as a dramatic actress!  She was amazing in this film and I look forward to seeing her in other dramatic roles in the near future.

Instead of me writing extensively on this film, I'd rather encourage all readers to go and see it soon.  For those in Western Massachusetts, it is scheduled to continue playing until sometime this weekend.  Please visit Amherst Cinema/Pleasant Street Theater's website for information on show times and ticket prices.  I've included the trailer below.  Please encourage others to see it.  Better yet, arrange to see it with friends.  And, after watching the film, please go out afterwards to discuss the film.  I'll bet that you all will relate to many of the issues raised in Pariah.

Thanks to Dee Rees, director and writer of Pariah, for bringing us such an amazing story, one that I hope will begin necessary conversations on how to ensure that today's young people become the best citizens they can be, living their best lives.

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