Pariah is a film written and directed by Dee Rees that’s been getting some major attention on the film festival circuit the past few years. The film was just premiered at Sundance where it got some pretty great reviews and was picked up by Focus Features for a seven-figure distribution deal.
Pariah stars Adepero Oduye as Alike, a Brooklyn teenager [who] juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression,” according to the film’s Web site. Ree’s slightly autobiographical ode to lesbian teenage angst started out as a short film five years ago, whose popularity fueled her decision to turn it into her debut full length feature. Also part of the proceeds raised to make the film were donated to The Ali Forney Center in support of their mission to provide homeless LGBT youth with safe, dignified, and nurturing environments.
This film looks really powerful and I’m really glad to see that Rees is debunking the stereotypical butch/femme dichotomy that pervades the black lesbian community. Also Focus Features is the same company that put out Brokeback Mountain, Milk and The Kids Are All Right so maybe Pariah will be next year’s breakout gay indie hit.
Check out the trailer below: