The Black Kino Fist: Black life as depicted in film history

Pariah (2011)

"From its opening scenes, Pariah, a vital first feature worked up from a short film by director Dee Rees, draws you into a world largely untapped in American black cinema. The setting is a nightclub where AG's — "Aggressive Lesbians," members of a subculture marginalized within their own black community, let alone the rest of the world — can frolic with joy and humor, acting out a raucous, good-natured belligerence denied them in their everyday lives.
Yet the movie is anything but combative. Pariah is a tender, sporadically goofy, yet candid examination of emergent identity, a film whose lack of attitude sets it apart from much of the hard-bitten, thug-life storytelling that's dominated African-American cinema for decades. If anything, its source genre is the coming-of-age movie, and though the universe its freshly hatched lesbian inhabits is all black, Rees is blessedly unwilling to confine herself in any kind of ghetto, whether racial, sexual or aesthetic."
- Ella Taylor
Status: Available for purchase

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