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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Three alumni join Board of Trustees
By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

What We’re Watching

Hatchet reporter Roxanne Goldberg shares her latest movie experience.

Pariah, Reel Affirmations, film
Photo courtesy of Reel Affirmations.

Pariah” (2011)

A powerful and poignant film, “Pariah” is an emotional drama that explores social conventions of the religious black community and provides a compelling look into the heart-wrenching tribulations of an outcast teenager.

Growing up in a stringent, religious household, 17-year-old Alike (Adepero Oduye) is forced to live a double life. Alike conceals her sexuality and true identity from her parents, tiptoeing around her delicate and often confusing emotions. She is only comfortable around her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker), who tries to pressure Alike into lesbian stereotypes while introducing her to the New York gay scene. But after striking up an unlikely relationship with a local church girl and experiencing a painful and forced coming out to her parents, Alike finally begins to discover her true self.

“Pariah” is intoxicating, with a perfect balance of laughter and heartbreak. The film invites the viewer into Alike’s often painful world through emotional performances from the entire cast. Kim Wayans delivers a standout performance as Alike’s mother. Viewers cannot help but to share in Alike’s anguish and despair during the mother-daughter interactions. Charles Parnell captivates viewers as Alike’s father with his mix of comical stabs and painful words of deceit.

“Pariah” is an important film that is bound to start a buzz this Oscar season. Anyone who has ever struggled with relationships or grappled with heartbreak can relate to this truly compelling story.

Director: Dee Rees
Starring: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Charles Parnell, Pernell Walker, Aasha Davis

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