Friday, November 18, 2011
Pariah (puh-rahy-uh) is a person without status; a rejected member of society; an outcast. Pariah is the debut film from Dee Rees who wrote the film from her own experiences. The film addresses difficult socially conscious themes that are rarely addressed in pop culture. In true independent film style, the filming took place in only 18 days. The art of film making is seen within the cinematography. The choice of camera angles and lighting provide subtleties to the emotion of the characters.
The film isn't about a young woman coming out as being gay, but rather coming into her own. She is being pulled in two directions, but struggles with defining who she is. The story centers around a nuclear family with Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell are solid parents. However, the performance from Adepero Oduye absolutely stands out in how she offers the amazing emotions in her face as well as her words.
Alike (Adepero Oduye) is a teenage Brooklyn girl who is struggling to live up to her mother's expectations while trying to figure out who she is. Alike is insecure about who she is as a young lesbian woman and in search of her voice as a writer. She is caught between a controlling, disappointed and worried mother (Kim Wayans) and a disillusioned, tired and caring father (Charles Parnell).
I was lucky enough to read the script before viewing the film and the poetry is beautiful. There are two poems read during the film, and both delicately address the emotions of a person struggling with defining themself.
A butterfly, briefly
Suffocated on the mucous of its own change,
Imprisoned by the membranous chaff of its own underdeveloped wings;
Cramped in the darkness of the too-tight cocoon of its own creation;
Thinking death inevitable, prepares to die in the absolute solitude of swollen husk.
A crack appears, a thing jagged light connecting the inner to the outer world;
A butterfly, briefly,
Paralyzed by the imminence of death
Discovers life is possible.
Heartbreak opens onto the sunrise
For even breaking is opening, and I am broken, I am open
Broken to the new light without pushing in.
Open to the possibilities within pushing out.
See the love shine in through my cracks.
See the light shine out through me.
I am broken, I am open, I am broken open.
See the love-light shining through me.
Shining through my crack through the gaps.
My spirit takes journey, my spirit takes flight
Could not have risen otherwise.
And I am not running, I am choosing
Running is not a choice from the breaking
Breaking is freedom
I am not broken, I am free.
As an independent film it may be difficult for everyone to find this film, but if you do see it offered at a theater you will not be disappointed. Please share this 4 Quack movie review with any friends/family that are members of the LGBT community.