Split into three acts defined by age, Moonlight is an intimate account of a young black boy who’s trapped by society’s expectation of masculinity.
Chiron has no father figure and a distant mother who is addicted to drugs, but Moonlight doesn’t leap into a Larry Clarke film, as one would imagine. Instead, the story explores a fragile boy growing up in Miami, who finds it hard to trust people as an effect of his upbringing. Although he faces trouble in school, Chiron steers clear from reacting till a relationship he cares about is put on the line.
Jenkins captures Chiron’s social surroundings and its affect on his growth. In Act I, in a gut-wrenching, memorable scene, he asks his mentor “Am I a faggot?” The abuse Chiron faces from society leads him to question his sexuality. His personal growth is disturbed by social constructs which encourage homophobia and teach him things about himself in an abusive manner, before he has the chance to learn himself.
Through sound, imagery and storyline, Moonlight is a masterpiece. The director organically tells a tale of a young confused black boy with a troubled upbringing and successfully avoids incorporating any film clichés, making it feel a lot more honest and personable.
director BARRY JENKINS
director of photography JAMES LAXTON
cast TREVANTE RHODES, ANDRÉ HOLLAND, JANELLE MONÁE, ASHTON SANDERS, JHARREL JEROME and NAOMIE HARRIS
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