Inspired by the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight tells the painfully honest narrative of Chiron, a young African American male who struggles to find himself and his place in a world that blatantly rejects everything about him. Thankfully for him, he gets himself a fairy godfather that provides for him what nobody else was whiling to – and that is life.
Dubbed the “black LGBT” movie, Moonlight is only one-quarter about the sexual preference of Chiron. The other three-quarters are about who he is, who he thinks he should be, and which one of the two he should choose. Barry Jenkins takes us on a journey that spans three distinctive timelines of a story about heartache, loneliness, humanity, strength, suffering, and the type of forgiveness that many of us wouldn’t be able to yield even at our best.
Jenkins tugged really hard at my ticker. Having been around and still witnessing the real struggles of the consequences of certain lifestyles, Moonlight highlights the effects that this can have on those that had nothing to do with what was chosen by others. The meaning of family is greatly challenged here – both the inadequacy and absence of it. Although it is, in fact, three times thicker than water – is blood truly all that it is made out to be? Especially when that same blood is more harmful than helpful?
One of the things you will notice right off the bat is how magnificently Moonlight is shot. The expressive scenery set in the housing projects and opulent sunsets of Liberty City, Miami, are beautifully shot with dark rich tones that emphasise every ounce of emotion in each scene. From the glistening skin to the teeth discolouration and the bloody cracked noses, the movie’s sentiment is deeply rooted in its cinematography.
Whatever you think Moonlight is about, you are completely wrong! This Barry Jenkins production is unlike any other narrative we have ever seen before. It’s fresh, authentic and its lens focuses on multiple issues that plague our community today. It’s not hard to see why Moonlight is welcomed with open arms throughout the world. It couldn’t have come at a better time.