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The sensational coming of age film: Moonlight

March 21, 2017


The eight-time nominated movie at the Oscars, and winner of Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay is the awe-inspiring movie: Moonlight. It became the first film with an all-black cast to be awarded Best Picture. The editor, Joi McMillon is the first black woman to be nominated for an editing Oscar award.
The plot of the film surrounds Chiron, who struggles to find himself in an unaccepting society. The film is told in three different sections in his life over the course of sixteen years, and begins with Chiron in boyhood, around ten years of age. The second section continues to his later years in high school, where he struggles to find his personality, and ends in divulging to the audiences what kind of man Chiron has become; tough and durable on the exterior, but still struggling to searching for himself on the interior.

The protagonist expresses the conflict and danger of being an African-American man in the United States today. The beginning of the film starts with Chiron as a little boy, nicknamed “Little”. It starts when Little is trying to hide in a closed, boarded up apartment from kids who are trying to beat him up. In his, youth Chiron finds a friend named Juan, a man who truly cares about Littles well-being and assists him as a father figure. The girlfriend of Juan, Teresa, equally cares about Chiron. She gives him a spare bed in their home, and overall does care about his happiness. Since Chiron has problems at home Teresa and Juan serve as a secondary guardian throughout his younger years. Skipping to Chiron as a teen, the second section of the film kicks off when Chiron is dealing with more severe bullying and confusion of his sexuality. He grapples with himself and deals with his complicated life at home. As we move into the later stages of his life after high school, the adult Chiron is very emotional and still reserved. His life has been overlooked by his peers, and society, leaving him a isolated and private individual.

I interviewed three students at SMA who wish to remain anonymous, on their perspective of Moonlight. All three of them said it was very significant and relevant in todays culture, a critical film to help the ignorant understand what African Americans can experience in America today. They thought it was a beautifully made film with incredible actors. These students all enjoyed watching the film and described it as an exhilarating, inspirational, and engaging film that puts reality in perspective.

Moonlight is a beautifully made movie, Chiron’s hard and difficult life was mainly due to his suffering of finding his sexuality and a place to fit in. Thus, his life would have been more content and fulfilled with happiness if the world would have been more accepting of people of color, and sexualities that aren’t typically the norm in our society. Though the moral of the film can sometimes be hidden, and other times be obvious, it’s always important to consider other people’s feelings, especially in youth, and respect their decisions. This film seems to relate that no matter who we are as people, individuals should not try to shame other individuals for their differences, and drive it out of them. But instead we are shaped by the experiences and decisions we make every day, hurting people will not make our complex lives any better, everybody should look to heal those mental bruises with compassion and love, instead of creating new ones.

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