Appropriate for: College/University
Suggested Readings & Discussion Questions
A Bronx lesbian teenager juggles conflicting identities to please friends and family.
PARIAH is a coming-of-age drama about a lesbian teenager who unsuccessfully juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from her friends and family. Set against the kinetic and incongruous social landscape of middle class New York City, Alike vacillates between being a proud and sexually independent woman amongst her openly gay friends and being the feminine, obedient girl that her strict Christian upbringing dictates she be. Torn by mounting pressure from home, school, and within, the line between her dual personas wears thin with explosive consequences.
Pariah is a moving short film that relates the struggles of LGBTQ youth of color and their families in a compelling way. The short gives access to a world seldom seen and the complex issues raised in the piece provide fertile ground for classroom discussion.
PARIAH is an engaging, thoughtful, must-see film about a young Black lesbian confronting the complexities of family, high school and her awareness of her sexual milieu. PARIAH is an enjoyable, well-made, thoroughly delightful coming of age story by two promising young Black filmmakers...
Professor of Feminist Studies at University of California, Santa Cruz
This excellent short fiction film about young black lesbians coming of age is ideal for classroom screening and discussion. It effectively conveys the joys and risks of adolescent coming out while powerfully illustrating the intersections of racial and queer identities.
Professor of U.S. Women's History and Feminist Studies, Stanford University
Rees' jaw-droppingly good "Pariah" continues to reel in awards. Rees shows stellar talent in both writing and directing with her story of a Bronx high school girl uncertainly trying to explore multiple identities.
Rees hit home with her story of a Bronx teenager caught between two worlds... the cinematography, by Bradford Young, is layered and evocative. For the audience tonight, and apparently for festival programmers and talent scouts in general, "Pariah" will be remembered as one of Sundance 2008's gems.