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Past Films

Pariah

  • Director: Dee Rees
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 86 min

Adepero Oduye, who had earlier starred in the short film, portrays Alike (pronounced ah-lee-kay), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents Audrey and Arthur and younger sister Sharonda in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the sometimes boisterous support of her best friend, out lesbian Laura, 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 into making the acquaintance of a colleague’s daughter, Bina, 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 grace, humor, and tenacity – sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward. (Focus Features)

"This invigoratingly fresh, optimistic film - which features the breathtaking debuts of director Dee Rees and leading lady Adepero Oduye - plunges the audience into a world that's both tough and tender, vivid and grim, drenched in poetry and music and pain and discovery."
- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Rees presents this vivid, hidden culture with raw honesty."
- Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"The movie is anything but combative. Pariah is a tender, sporadically goofy, yet candid examination of emergent identity, a film whose lack of attitude sets it apart from much of the hard-bitten, thug-life storytelling that's dominated African-American cinema for decades."
- Ella Taylor, NPR
"The film benefits most of all from Rees' careful screenplay, which dances that shifting line between fear and emergent hope"
- Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle

Showtimes