By Edward Davis | The Playlist June 10, 2011 at 5:00AM
We're really not sure what's up with the Indigo Girls meets Sarah McLachlan acoustic song that's going on in the beginning of this trailer (ok, we do, but really?), but "Pariah," a 2011 drama that was shown at Sundance 2011 to major acclaim, subsequently picked up by Focus Features, looks pretty damn great.
Heralded in some circles as a gritty, urban counter-part to Lee Daniels' breakout Sundance pic "Precious," this humanist drama focusing on sexuality and identity issues, is the feature-length directorial debut of Dee Rees who also wrote the picture.
Starring newcomer Adepero Oduye, plus Pernell Walker, Aasha Davis, Charles Parnell, Sahra Mellesse and Kim Wayans, "Pariah" centers on a Brooklyn teenager who juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression. I.e., let's spell it out, she's struggling with the fact she's gay.
Here's the official Apple synopsis:
A rousing success at its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, this deeply felt human drama is the feature debut of writer/director Dee Rees. Adepero Oduye portrays Alike (pronounced "ah-lee-kay"), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister (Sahra Mellesse) in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. A gifted student, Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the support of her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker), she is especially eager to find a girlfriend. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity.
Interestingly enough, while a trailer has been released today, the release date for "Pariah" is still "Coming Soon." One assume that will be sometime later this year, our guess would be mid fall, perhaps right around the October-November slot that "Precious" occupied last year. Our other assumption is that "Pariah" doesn't include the hamfisted visual choices "Precious" did, robbing it of being a picture worthy of its excellent performances. Watch the trailer below, or in HD at Apple.