Thoughts on Pariah

Recently I watched the movie Pariah in my Introduction to LGBTQQIA Studies course. The movie portrays a lesbian teen named Alike, who hides her identity from her family. Alike finds herself struggling with her religious family, her parents’ marital issues, finding her first lover, and later being rejected. Fortunately, Alike is able to get support from her friend Laura, who like Alike is a lesbian.

The movie was split into two class periods and I found myself not wanting to leave after watching the first half because I was really enjoying it. The movie has taken me somewhat on an emotional roller coaster: happy for the character for finding her first lover, angry at her companion, horrified by the mother’s actions, in tears from Alike’s writing, appreciative of her father’s attempt to make things right, and finally content that Alike is moving on with her life to do what she loves. I really enjoy movies that get me emotionally involved because it makes it a better viewing experience. It allows me to feel attached to the characters.

The movie depicted the lives of many LGBT youth, but as mentioned in my previous post, not all of them end up with a stable plan and future. One of the reasons I wanted to bring up the film is to provide information about visual content that does a great job at showing the possible various components of an LGBT youth’s life. There is the family dynamic that in this case is split into two sides, the mother and then the father and the sister. There are the friends, the lover, and even the school dynamic. The school scenes show how her writing teacher treats and interacts with her with kindness and support. There is also some of society’s views that are depicted not only through her mother’s rejection but also through the older man at the shop who starts to talk about her in a nasty tone.

Even though the movie is considered to be a drama, there is also a lot of humor, which prevents the movie from being too heavy but at the same time it still captures the seriousness. I highly recommend this movie, because it reveals a tremendous amount about what some LGBT teens go through.


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