Newcomb film series to screen ‘Pariah’

Julia Engel, Contributing Reporter

As part of its Feminist Film Series, the Newcomb College Institute will screen the unorthodox film “Pariah” 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for free in Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center. 

The Newcomb Feminist Film Series aims to give the Tulane community a comprehensive outlook on current issues facing women.

“Pariah” is a coming-of-age film centered around 17-year-old Alike, a black woman living in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Over the course of the film, Alike struggles with expressing her identity as a lesbian with masculine tendencies in the midst of her parents’ dysfunctional marriage. The main conflict involves Alike’s mother’s disapproval of Alike’s openly gay friend, Laura. She assumes Alike’s tendency to dress in men’s underwear and baggy clothes in addition to her frequent outings to gay nightclubs are all a part of Laura’s influence on her daughter. In an effort to reform Alike and rekindle the filial relationship, Audrey presses her to make friends with a girl name Bina from their local church. Alike does, in fact, take a great liking to Bina, just not in the way her mother had intended.

The film narrates Alike’s wading through the waters of adolescence, both gracefully and with a gauche style. Directed by Dee Reesm, “Pariah” premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Adepero Oduye stars as Alike and gives a phenomenal performance. The Nigerian Cornell University graduate was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture and won both the African-American Film Critics Association and Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance.