"Pariah" (90 min.) brings the story of Alike (played by Adepero Oduye), a 17 yr. old girl living with her younger sister and her mom and dad. Alike is discovering that she likes girls better than guys. Alike's mom picks up on the fact that Alike is going through a "tomboy" phase, and is urging dad to do something about it. Dad, however, has his own problems (the movie shows a short phone call that one might interpret he has another lady in his world) and besides (as he says) "Alike is always daddy's girl". Needless to say, a lot of tension builds up between mom and dad and Alike. To reveal more from the plot would spoil the pleasure of watching this movie, you'll just have to see how it all plays out.
A lot has been made of the fact that this is a movie about a "black teenage girl coming out". I guess I really don't see at all what the relevance is, if any, of the race or color in this movie. What I saw was an intense family drame, set in contemporary Brooklyn, New York. It's not even so much a "lesbian" movie. I came away impressed by the fact that this is writer-director Dee Rees' debute film, as the movie certainly doesn't feel like the work of a novice.
There are a number of acting performances worth noting, none more so of course than Adepero Oduye in the role of Alike, but also Kim Wayans as Alike's mom and Charles Parnell as Alike's dad. Last but not least, there was plenty of great music featured in the movie (unfortunately the credits went by so quickly I barely had time to register all the music that was featured, although I did notice that Reema Major has 5 or so songs credited). In all, I thought that "Pariah" was well worth it, and I would readily recommend this if you are looking for something good to watch outside the Hollywood commercial mainstream.