— Moonlight, 2016.
Dir. Barry Jenkins
Starring: Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monae, Andre Holland, Jharrel Jerome
Moonlight is a revolutionary film as far as storytelling goes. Not just is it a film with an all-black cast, but it has a protagonist who is part of LGBTQ+. On top of that, it won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2016 and is the first film from A24 to win this award. This film is special for so many reasons and is definitely worth checking out.
Moonlight tells the story of a young man, Chiron, who is growing up in difficult circumstances. His mother isn’t taking good care of him and he gets picked on at school. He has to struggle being both black and gay. The film is structured in three parts: Little, Chiron, and Black. These represent the story of Chiron when he is a child, teenager, and adult. He goes by these different names throughout the film, showing his struggle with his identity.
Moonlight has a recurring theme with symbolism. Chiron faces a struggle between masculinity and vulnerability. He is forced to be tough, because he is judged by his mother and his peers when he isn’t. However, there are times where he can allow himself to be vulnerable. This is where the title of the film comes into play. Juan tells Chiron that black boys turn blue in moonlight. In this analogy, black represents toughness while blue represents vulnerability. Every scene where Chiron is in the moonlight, he is expressing his vulnerability. He also uses water to cope with his struggles throughout the film.
Moonlight’s acting is great because it’s not over the top. It’s subtle and is still able to bring out emotion. Every actor in the film does an excellent job. In specific, Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali stood out to me. I can see why Mahershala won the Oscar after seeing this film.
Not just is Moonlight an amazing film, but it tells the story of a type of person that isn’t commonly represented in film. - 31 minutes ago