Written & Directed By: Dee Rees
Rated R for profanity and sexuality.
Running time: 86 minutes
Distributor: Focus Features
In Theaters: Dec 28, 2011 Limited
Film Review by Kam Williams
Very Good (3 stars)
17 year-old Alike (Adepero Oduye) has been hiding a big secret from her parents, namely, that she’s gay. But that fact is becoming more and more difficult for the latent lesbian to suppress, given the raging hormones which have her yearning for a girlfriend.
As the truth emerges, Alike’s home situation grows increasingly
uncomfortable, between her Bible-thumping mother and her police officer
father (Charles Parnell) who doesn’t like the rumors he’s hearing down at
the local liquor store. Soon, the poor kid has no safe harbor, and has to
negotiate her way daily down a rough block in Brooklyn marked by intolerance
of her homosexuality.
Is it any wonder then that she might feel like a pariah, a social outcast struggling to find acceptance. Pariah is also the title of this semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age drama directed by Dee Rees. Although the picture does feature a number of superficial parallels to Precious, it is in no way derivative, and addresses a very different theme of equal import to the black community.
A sobering look at what it might very well be like to grow up lesbian in the ‘hood.