Pariah: A person without status, a rejected member of society, an outcast – each of these three definitions were represented in the film, “Pariah,” which the Alliance Club featured a screening of in the DiMenna-Nyselius Multimedia Room on Friday, Oct. 17.

The main character, Alike, is a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents, Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell, and younger sister, Sahra Mellesse, in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood.

She has a passion for poetry and is a good student at her local high school. As the story begins, Alike is on the verge of accepting her identity as a lesbian.

With the sometimes boisterous support of her best friend, Laura, an outed lesbian (played by Pernell Walker), Alike is especially eager to find a girlfriend.

At home, her parents’ marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike’s development becomes a topic of discussion.

Pressed by her mother to make the acquaintance of a colleague’s daughter, Bina, played by Aasha Davis, Alike finds Bina to be unexpectedly refreshing to socialize with. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with both grace and humor.

This film was a part of Alliance’s month-long Film Series to raise awareness for LGBT History Month where each week, movies are featured that focus on themes of love and acceptance. More well-known LGBT-themed films like “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Rent” are shown, but Alliance intended to also feature lesser-known films, like “Pariah.”

“Pariah” first premiered in 2011 at the Sundance Film Festival. The contemporary drama “Pariah” is the feature-length expansion of writer/director Dee Rees’ award-winning 2007 short film of the same name. Spike Lee is among the feature’s executive producers. At Sundance, cinematographer Bradford Young was honored with the (U.S. Dramatic Competition) Excellence in Cinematography Award.

Ultimately, “Pariah” made the cut to be shown during the movie series because of its intersectionality, something Meaghan Hamilton ‘17 particularly enjoyed: “I love[d] the movie. Usually with LGBTQ representation in the media, you only see the experiences of affluent white people. This intersection between race, class, gender and sexuality was really important and interesting to see.”

Having a different viewpoint portrayed in the movie allowed viewers to be more open-minded as to what the LGBT community is all about. The battle for identity, the violence both physically and emotionally and the realistic bittersweet ending truly made this movie as powerful as any LGBT film could be.

Alliance has thus far been successful with their selections in trying to represent the message they want to spread amongst the Fairfield community. The next film series takes place this Friday, Oct. 24, featuring the film “Christopher and His Kind.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.