Moonlight (2016): A Very Powerful Film

Last week I went to see Moonlight.  A lot of people gave the film good reviews, so I decided to check it out. Barry Jenkins wrote and directed this drama. Moonlight is the story of, Chiron, (Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes), an African-American boy growing up in a crime and drug-infested neighborhood in Miami. Chiron struggles to come to terms with his sexuality. He also struggles with the fact that his mother Paula (Naomie Harris) neglects him when he needs her the most. The movie follows Chiron from his childhood in the 90s into his adulthood in the present day.

Moonlight begins with a 9-year-old Chiron who is nicknamed “Little” because of his size. He is an outcast who is constantly verbally and physically bullied by his peers. Little is raised by a single mother who attempts to raise him but falls short due to her addiction. One day he runs into, Juan (Mahershala Ali), a neighborhood drug dealer. Juan and his girlfriend Teresa (Janelle Monáe) give some of Chiron the support that he misses at home. As Chiron gets older things only seem to get worse for him.

One of the things liked about Moonlight is that it’s not a stereotypical gay movie. As we all know flamboyant gay men are very much a part of the LGBT community. Their stories are most often told as the gay narrative. The stories of gay men who don’t fit the stereotypes should also be told.  Moonlight is a story about a young man just trying to find himself. Even if you aren’t gay you still may be able to relate to some of what Chiron goes through.

Moonlight is a very emotional film. Some parts of the movie will make you very sad and others will make you very angry.  I know everyone has their own personal beliefs about homosexuality, but his film makes it hard not to empathize with Chiron. It’s really depressing how much hate this child had to endure without the parental support to help him cope. Moonlight also shows how people can change for the worse when they don’t receive the attention and love they deserve. I think that it is important that everyone see this movie regardless of your beliefs on homosexuality. I’m not here to tell you what’s right or wrong. I’m just telling you to give Moonlight a chance.

Moonlight is currently playing nationwide. Click here to find out where it’s playing in your area.

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hr 50 min

Release date: October 21, 2016