Pariah Playback

We’ve all been in hard places. We’ve all faced conundrums. And we’ve all experienced disappointments. Likewise, in the dramatic film Pariah main character Alike endures severe banishment from her family, specifically her mother, because of her sexuality.

In the movie, Alike struggles with her sexual identity of being a lesbian, and this is highlighted throughout the film as she seeks love in a friend from school and is then quickly rejected by the same girl. It becomes clear early on that Alike’s family disapproves of her lifestyle as her mother places extreme restrictions on her freedom in order to forbid her daughter from hanging out with Laura, Alike’s lesbian companion and best friend.

The film addresses the conflicts between religion and homosexuality as it leads the audience to believe Alike’s mother is extremely religious and therefore disapproves of her love life. At the end of the film, the last line distinctly demonstrates these judgmental feelings of the mother’s disappointment and disgust for her daughter when Alike attempts to resolve issues with her mother by telling her she loved her but is then rejected as her mother replies, “I’ll pray for you,” before walking away from the situation.

I appreciated the film because it addresses the negative results within a family’s structure and relationships as a result of conflicting beliefs. I think the story of the movie was crucial in delivering to the public because of its often taboo nature, and because it relayed its message without extreme force and more with poise, I consider Pariah to be one of my favorite films at the Sundance Film Festival thus far.

That’s all for now,
Sam Parker

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About The Spirit of Sundance

A group of Elon University students experiencing the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
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