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MOONLIGHT Movie Review

By Matiana Tepa, Opinion Editor

This was a great movie.   It was released late last year but I just saw it for the first time, and I’m glad I did.   Spoiler alert, don’t read this review if you plan on watching the movie!

Moonlight was divided into three sections, depicting the childhood, adolescence and adulthood of Chiron, a gay African American boy. Each stage of his life he goes through the internal struggle of finding out who he is.

As a child his nickname is “Little” and he’s frequently bullied by classmates for being gay and lives with his cocaine-addicted mother (we don’t know where his father is). He struggles coping with his home and school life. He then meets Juan, a Cuban man, and his wife Theresa who treats him like their own son and serve as father and mother figures more than his actual parents.

As a teenager, or adolescent, he is called Chiron and continues to get picked on by classmates for being gay. We also figure out that Juan has died. Although the change things get a little better, for a short time, and he reconnects with Kevin, a childhood friend. He often dreams of him and, while on the same beach Juan taught him how to swim, they reconnect in more of a physical way. Unfortunately, Kevin is forced to beat Chiron to the ground during a hazing ritual and Chiron is jumped. After getting revenge on the bully who started it all he is arrested as Kevin watches in both sorrow and guilt, and it fast-forwards to Chiron’s adulthood.

In the final section, he’s known as Black and you can tell that going to prison and moving to Georgia definitely changed him. He looks and acts more hard, like the innocent kid we watched grow up no longer exists. His mother, fortunately, lives in a rehab facility and frequently calls him to ask him to visit. Due to the painful memories he remembers from his childhood, he has no remorse or sympathy for her. Then, one day he receives a call from Kevin who also wants him to visit. He does and tells Kevin he was the only person, man or woman that Black’s ever been intimate with.

The movie ends with Kevin comforting Black as he reminisces about the times when he’d visit the ocean as a child (as Little) and everything, although wasn’t easy, was innocent and less complicated.

The movie received many awards including the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture and Academy Award for Best Picture and deserved all of them. I found the struggles Chiron faced growing up very relatable and the movie made me really think about my life and I urge people to watch it. Kudos and props to Barry Jenkins, the director, and everyone involved with the making of this tremendous movie.

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