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Pariah

Adepero Oduye

Directed by Dee Rees
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3.5
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
December 29, 2011

Ignore the idiots who dismiss the powerful Pariah as Precious Lite. This vibrantly alive debut feature from Dee Rees, drawn from her own life, introduces an original voice. Rees' focus is on Alike (the altogether wonderful Adepero Oduye), a 17-year-old African-American virgin from Brooklyn's middle-class Fort Greene. Alike is eager to come out as a lesbian without knowing quite how to do it or to break the news to her churchgoing mother (Kim Wayans) and her cop dad (Charles Parnell). In her corner are sass-queen sister Sharonda (Sahra Mellesse) and BFF Laura (a knockout Pernell Walker). But what happens when Alike finds herself attracted to Bina (Aasha Davis), who's more closeted than she is? The gifted Rees makes finding out a stirring and heartfelt journey. And Oduye is unforgettable. A star is born.

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