Go See Pariah!!!

6 Jan

Title Character "Alike", dark skinned beauty, smiling with head cocked to the side

I’ve been trying to write a review for the movie Pariah for a while now but I can’t write anything that conveys what this film accomplishes. For those who need to know about the film before you see it, read Summer M.’s take and the review by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan at the Feminist Wire. Brilliant commentary (and Spoilers, FYI).

What I really want to talk about is the power of showing out up for art that creates new narratives and provides another lens on worlds that we don’t often get to see centered on the big screen. As much as I despise Tyler Perry’s films, I appreciate people’s willingness to pay for what they want to see and go out en masse premiere weekend. His audiences’ loyalty is what allows him to continue to create and branch out into other mediums like television. I want that opportunity for longevity and growth for folks who are trying to offer a different perspective. Dee Rees’ Pariah was years in the making and it took a village to raise it. I’m certainly proud to be a part of the community from whence it came and I’ve been rooting for its success for some time.

Three years ago I got an email from Beverly Guy-Sheftall, the indomitable director of the Spelman Women’s Research & Resource Center (and the professor that started me down the path of my feminist future), about a young filmmaker who was working to turn a short into a feature length film. I hadn’t even seen the short but I emailed everyone I knew based solely on the premise and the title. Pariah was a queer coming of age story with a Black girl protagonist. Nuff said.

Krys Freeman and I mobilized our respective networks and helped the film win a coveted Sundance prize that allowed it to be developed into a feature. We told folks to vote, asked people to donate money and we did! We weren’t alone. So many people were excited for this movie to exist. The opportunity to support a film for us by us was something a lot of folks could get behind.

On the CFC we offer critiques of culture but we also like to provide people with information about the things that inspire us and provide proof that another world is possible. Pariah is one of those things! Show up and show OUT for this movie! We are planning a “Let’s go OUT to the Movies” meet up in Atlanta to see the film when it premieres January 13. I encourage folks in other cities to do the same! Leave details in the comments if you’d like to attend or organize such an OUTing in your city!


14 Responses to “Go See Pariah!!!”

  1. Donna January 6, 2012 at 9:02 AM #

    Do you know what times it is playing on the 13th? I am SO EXCITED and think a big to do on opening night would be amazing. I would even consider dressing up.

    • MB January 6, 2012 at 10:24 AM #

      Yay Donna! I’m calling today to find out the time and I’m going to make a facebook event! Dress up!!

  2. crunkista January 6, 2012 at 9:17 AM #

    Hola Moyazb,

    I just wanted to thank you for this post and all you did to make sure this movie was made. I saw it when it premiered in Boston and it was amazing!


    • MB January 6, 2012 at 10:25 AM #

      Thanks! I loved it and it was just so beautiful too!

  3. Quiana Scott January 6, 2012 at 10:35 AM #

    I would love to attend the OUTing in Atlanta. Please let me know the details.

  4. Rachel Kantstopdaphunk January 6, 2012 at 2:22 PM #

    I got to see an early screening here in SF thanks to QWOCMAP . Such a great project!!! SRSLY, a beautiful beautiful and moving film. TY for helping to get it out there, and for your work in making sure it got made.

  5. Adzua January 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM #

    I got to see an advance screening in New York, and the film was outstanding. I’d love to go see it again in Atlanta to support the film and be re-inspired.

  6. sheridf January 7, 2012 at 7:06 PM #

    MZB I’m getting my childcare coverage as we speak. Please let me know what show you are organizing folks to attend and I’ll get my tickets. Thank you for this because I was lamenting last week that it was not showing in Atlanta and then AAAAAHHHHHH mzb to the rescue.

  7. S. Mandisa Moore January 7, 2012 at 9:17 PM #

    Ive been hearing about this film for a few weeks now. I first saw a review on Racialicious and have been wanting to see it ever since. As a black lesbian, the only other times I remember us being portrayed in the media was the New Jersey 7 and look how that went….. This film sounds like a breath of fresh air.

    Unfortunately, I live in the Deep South, New Orleans to be exact. Pariah isnt showing here. Ive looked and looked and even called the few indie theaters we have (someone PLEASE PLEASE lemme know if it is….human error is so, so real). Now this is not about Dee Rees at all, but more about independent theatre priorities not to show in smaller areas, but it is really unfortunate this movie cant be shown to a larger audience. Im not mad at Dee Rees or anyone else for that matter, I just wish I could post on the CFC about how wonderful this film was.

    Instead I will be organizing a viewing party once it is available on DVD.

    Much love to all who are able to see it!

  8. eeshap January 7, 2012 at 9:34 PM #

    I saw it tonight! Such a vivid and tender portrayal. People say all the time that films are beautiful, but this one was actually stunning.

    Really, y’all should see it. And if it’s not playing where you are, make a request of your local indie cinema.

  9. Danise Smith January 7, 2012 at 11:58 PM #

    I’ve been waiting on this movie to come to Atlanta! I definitely would like to attend the Let’s go OUT to the Movies” meet up in Atlanta to see the film when it premieres January 13.

  10. SuchAnAfroholic January 8, 2012 at 6:50 PM #

    I hope it’s still playing in DC on the 23rd! I’m going there for an interview and it’s the only chance I’ll have to see it. (Whyyyyy didn’t I go to school in a city? Why?)

  11. Anita January 9, 2012 at 9:59 PM #

    Looks beautiful! I doubt it’s making its way to South Korea though. I can’t wait to see it when it comes out on dvd. Congratulations to the team on what looks like an amazing project.

  12. MB January 9, 2012 at 10:08 PM #

    Yes! ATL! Let’s meet at 7:30 pm at Midtown Arts Cinema on Friday. Apres Diem After! Deets on the CFC facebook page!

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