7.2/10
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Pariah (2011)

R | | Drama | 20 January 2011 (USA)
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A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.

Director:

Dee Rees

Writer:

Dee Rees
15 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adepero Oduye ... Alike
Pernell Walker ... Laura
Aasha Davis ... Bina
Charles Parnell ... Arthur
Sahra Mellesse ... Sharonda
Kim Wayans ... Audrey
Shamika Cotton ... Candace
Raymond Anthony Thomas ... Mack (as Ray Anthony Thomas)
Afton Williamson ... Mika
Zabryna Guevara ... Mrs. Alvarado
Kim Sykes ... Mrs. Singletary
Rob Morgan ... Sock
Nina Daniels ... Gina (a.k.a. Butch Woman)
Jeremie Harris ... Bina's Boyfriend
Chanté Lewis Chanté Lewis ... Fast Girl #1
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Storyline

A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who do you become when you can't be yourself?

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Parias See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,579, 1 January 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$758,099, 11 March 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mika: Yeah I like girls. But I LOVE boys.
See more »

Connections

Remake of Pariah (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Gucci Bag
Performed by Reema Major
Courtesy of G7 Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Better than the synopsis or rating

This is a tough little movie. Admittedly, a lot of people will be put off by the subject matter. They may not have even chosen to watch it, like I almost did, because of the synopsis which calls this a film about a "teenager's desperate search for sexual expression". My first thought was, "haven't we seen this a million times before." But I gave it a chance and I'm quite glad that I did.

At the beginning of the film, I thought I might have made a mistake. The opening sequence of the movie, and especially the lyrics of the song that is playing, reminded me of those movies made for teenage boys that begin with some sex scene to get them to pay attention to the rest of the film. Had I directed it, I would have lured the viewer in more carefully. However, maybe the director wanted to confront the viewer up front. I think this, combined with the synopsis, was simply bad marketing.

Anyway, if you hang in there and stay with it, the film pays off in the end. This is not a film about lesbianism or the trials of urban black families. This is a film about everyone. It is a film about being different from those around you. It just happens that this difference is lesbianism and this setting is a black community. Two distinct aspects of individualism are focused on here. The first is on that which makes each person unique, while the second is on that which keeps each person self-absorbed. Everyone in this film wants appreciation, understanding, and attention, yet, they are unable to see these needs in others.

The acting is superb. I could find no shortcomings in any of the actors. The relationships were believable, the characters, sympathetic, the storyline, strong. So, overlook the synopsis and the opening scenes and you will not be disappointed in this film. You may even wonder why it didn't receive more awards than it did.


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