Monday Night Film Series: Moonlight

Category: movies 118
moonlight-poster-lgBarry Jenkins | USA, 2016
English | 110 minutes
With: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe

The second feature from acclaimed writer-director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) is an impeccably crafted study of African-American masculinity that follows its young protagonist from childhood to adulthood as he navigates the dangers of homophobia, drugs, and violence.

Though his story begins in late-1980s Miami, Jenkins shuns the familiar neon-lit hot spots in favour of a neglected neighbourhood caught in the throes of a crack epidemic. Here we meet young Chiron. Bullied at school and beaten down by a harsh home life, Chiron finds solace and comfort in the love and pride promoted by his surrogate parents. Despite his small stature and taciturn nature, Chiron is a survivor, and, as he grows, it becomes clear that his real battle isn’t even on the streets. It’s an internal one: reckoning with his complex love for his best friend.

Presented in three acts, Moonlight takes Chiron from childhood to his teens to adulthood, but defies coming-of-age conventions. Instead, Jenkins immerses us in an atmospheric subjectivity, an impressionistic vision of Chiron’s psyche in which sensuality, pain, and unhealed wounds take centre stage with staggering power. Anchored by an unforgettable performance by emerging talent Trevante Rhodes (as the older Chiron), Moonlight explores the profoundly human need to feel connected, while remaining firmly grounded in a specific understanding of African-American experience.

Moonlight | Monday Night Film Series | Tilley Hall, Room 102, UNB Campus | February 20, 2017 – 7:30pm | See full schedule

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