Dee Rees

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COMMENTARY: "Pariah" is the story of a sister outsider rarely seen in film

Seldom do I see my image anywhere, especially portrayed in non-stereotypical and non-heterosexist ways on the silver screen. As a matter of fact, if you Google "black lesbians" or "black lesbians in film" you’ll get a plethora of porn sites to visit.

But writer-director Dee Rees’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama "Pariah" gives me a glimpse of my younger self-growing up in Brooklyn.

"Pariah" hits the big screen in San Diego on Jan. 6

The feature-length film “Pariah” is the latest reincarnation of writer and director Dee Rees’s award winning 2007 short film of the same name. Like the short, “Pariah” addresses a unique and universal coming out story. Set in Brooklyn, the film is about an African-American teenager, Alike (pronounced ah-lee-kay), her family and friends and the struggle they have embracing Alike’s identity as a young lesbian.

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MOVIE REVIEW: "Pariah" tells compelling coming-of-age story of teen exploring her sexual identity | VIDEO

“Pariah” is one of those little gems that will stick with you long after you see the film.

The coming-of-age story is one that we all can relate to, although in this case “Pariah” also offers a rare cinematic glimpse into what it is like to be an African-American teenager from Brooklyn learning to embrace her lesbianism while hiding her emerging identity from her police officer father and pious mother.

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