Black History Month: Moonlight

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Movie Of The Day: 

Director: Barry Jenkins 
Writer: Barry Jenkins (screenplay), Tarell Alvin McCraney (story)  
Release: January 9, 2015
Cast
Mahershala Ali
Naomie Harris
Trevante Rhodes 
Shariff Earp 
Duan Sanderson 
Janelle Monáe 
Naomie Harris
A young African-American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood. --IMDb
There is something about moonlight that I am unable to articulate well. I’m not sure if it’s the incredible directing by Berry Jenkins or the writing or the performance given by the cast, but everything about this movie is perfect. But this is by far an easy movie to watch. I knew from the trailer that there would be moments in this movie that would be hard for me to watch. But, I also knew that this movie was incredibly important. As an incredibly formative period in my life, this movie came out in 2015 while I was in college. I had been living away from my parents and given the opportunity to really explore who I was as a person. In many ways, I related so hard to the Chiron, the main character. We are two incredibly different individuals but there were small moments in our lives where I saw the similarities.

I have done a lot of reading to have a better understanding of this movie. From the themes of sexuality, masculinity, and how it all ties in with the characters Blackness, I read review after review to know how various moments play into the movie. Moonlight has become such an important movie throughout the years and I hope that we get even more stories with and about Black people.

I do want to give Barry Jenkins and the cast some praise for this movie. I don’t think I can say anything new but Jeninks’ work in this movie is exemplary. The fact that he made this movie after a long hiatus is mindblowing to me. Again, it’s not even the big moments in this movie that are striking. Even the small, unsuspecting moments had such an impact. The camera movement gives us a bigger understanding of the inner workings of the characters. The ocean scene, for example, is one of the most memorable for me in the entire movie. The juxtaposition of our inner self with our outerself--and thus, what expectations we have for ourselves and what expectations the people around us have for us--is done in the most beautiful ways. Again, nothing I am saying here is new or hasn’t been said before, but going back to this movie now has been such a delight.

It’s incredibly easy for people to put us into boxes based on their expectations. A lot of people going into this movie could have preconceived notions of the kind of story that is going to be told. But Moonlight takes all of these notions and flips it on its head.

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