In honor of Black History Month, The Frida Cinema dedicates our monthly series The Directors, in which we traditionally program four films by one acclaimed director, to four extraordinary, groundbreaking films which marked the feature film debuts of some of cinema’s most celebrated, visionary, and uncompromising African American voices. Join us as we present our February edition of The Directors: Jordan Peele’s Get Out, John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood, Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, and Dee Rees’ Pariah.
Join us as we present Pariah, the 2011 feature directorial debut of Dee Rees, whose feature-film follow up, 2017’s Mudbound, is now a nominee for four Academy Awards. An immediate art house sensation after taking home the Excellent in Cinematography award at Sundance, Pariah stars Adepero Oduye a Alike, a teenager living in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood with her parents Arthur and Audrey, and younger sister Sharonda. Exploring her identity as a “butch” lesbian, Alike spends time with her openly gay friend Laura and looking for love, while struggling to express her desires to her suspecting parents. Fearing that Laura may be a bad influence on Alike, her mother (Kim Wayans) insists she spend more time with Bina (Aasha Davis), a young girl from her church. The surprising level of camaraderie between the two new friends puts a strain on Alike’s friendship with Laura – especially when Alike and Bina begin to have feelings for each other.
The critically-acclaimed Pariah film is a feature-length expansion of writer/director Dee Rees’ award-winning 2007 short film of the same name, and was adapted into a feature film with much support from executive producer Spike Lee. Shot on location in the Fort Greene neighborhood in Brooklyn, Pariah manages to be personal and universal all at once, a powerful coming-of-age story brimming with soul and emotion that is expertly complemented by dazzling cinematography by Oscar-nominee Bradford Young (Arrival).
Sunday, February 25 – 12:30pm, 2:30pm
Monday, February 26 – 2:30pm, 8pm
Tuesday, February 27 – 2:30pm, 8pm
All shows before 3pm only $7.
“Rating: 3.5/4. The gay coming-of-age story’s been done, but “Pariah” has something fresh to say, largely about the knotty complexities of love, and how they might keep someone in the closet: How badly do you need to be free, to hurt the people you love?” – John Anderson, Newsday
“You don’t have to be black or lesbian or even know someone who’s gay to appreciate “Pariah”; you just have to have gone through or be going through the process of growing up.” – Tom Long, Detroit News
“Rating: 4/4. Pariah feels a lot like life, at its most confusing, contradictory and exhilarating.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“Rating: A. In her fearless, world-here-I-am! debut Pariah, writer-director Dee Rees demonstrates, with simplicity and verve, that there’s no substitute for authenticity.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly