Pariah is obviously heartfelt and potentially, I suppose, autobiographical. It was written and directed by Dee Rees and is the story of one young African-American lesbian whose father is a cop who’s messing around on her mother, who is a religious woman. Alika, our heroine, is kind of repressed to say the least and hangs out with her friend who’s obviously gay, although for the first 10 minutes of the movie you can’t figure out if we’re talking about men or women, which I suppose is probably the point. She gets her heart broken by somebody that she falls in love with instantly, who says that she’s not gay and that she’s just doing her thing, and finds redemption by going and getting involved in a writing class at Berkeley. The good news about this is the performances are heartfelt. The bad news about it is we’ve seen it all before, and the idea being that people who are outcast are more spiritual than everybody else. I don’t know, I’m not sure I believe that. The acting was good. It’s very dark, not only in terms of tone but mostly in terms of shooting. It was sometimes almost impossible to kind of see what’s going on. But it’s hard to judge it by sort of cinematic standards because it’s a little amateurish, but it is heartfelt. So I’ll give it two and a half stars.