“Moonlight”: A Mainstream Mediator for Minority

Hello! I really adore movies and, after having watched the beautiful film Moonlight, I’m so ready to add it to my list of favorites. I have a lot of thoughts about it, maybe too many focusing on the cinematography, but I’ll try my best to link it back to the topics at hand.

The creators of Moonlight have such an intelligent method of storytelling that allows for a subtle, more natural realization of love and identity than many mainstream films. All aspects of its production point at conveying specific and nuanced tones throughout the film, exploring so much of its own themes without explicitly declaring them. My favorite example of this is the entire diner scene in which Kevin and Chiron finally reunite as men who have had the chance to experience their individual ups and downs. The use of dialogue or sometimes the lack thereof when they react to each other’s admissions is outstanding, as they each show how relieved they are to meet again and how much they have thought about each other over the years. For example, Kevin is visibly disappointed that Black has been dealing drugs and indirectly tells him so, saying that “that ain’t [Chiron]”. Black’s subsequent indignance at this points to the conflict that has been ever-present in Chiron’s life: he knows he isn’t himself as a “hard”, hypermasculine drug dealer, but he’s also so aware of the impossibility of behaving otherwise in the face of society. Even the hopeful conclusion of the movie is not explicitly stated, which is fitting since even with coming out and finding requited love, Kevin and Chiron’s share an embrace embodies both the relief in finding someone to share one’s true self and the support one needs to face a hostile future.

Moonlight has the power to feel real and relatable to an underrepresented intersection of identities, and so existence as a previously untold queer narrative is crucial. It’s interesting to consider that Moonlight’s value is not only in its representation of a gay black man in a community that follows traditional ideals of masculinity, but also in its exceptional beauty as a film. Perhaps a combination of its novel subject matter and its skillful handling of such was necessary to bring the movie to the mainstream, and this popularity allows it to speak to a wider audience and generate more social discussion. It certainly adds a unique and important voice to the entire body of film that is out there for us to consume.

I’m excited to talk more about this film and its implications in class. As for Sabina Vaught’s piece, I certainly found it more challenging to understand but that’s even more reason to figure out Vaught’s intentions with other people.

peace out,

Martina

One thought on ““Moonlight”: A Mainstream Mediator for Minority

  1. Hey Martina,

    I have to agree that Moonlight definitely makes it to my list of favorite movies. I also think that Moonlight is unique in a variety of ways, from the story its telling to how its telling it. This plays together to really make the film stand out and emphasize the untold narrative of Chiron. In my opinion, the nuanced tones of the film and lack of explicit labelling help in portraying this story as a more realistic one. The relationship between Chiron and Kevin is not one that needs to be bogged down by labels or an explicit explanation to the audience of their experiences in relation to each other. Life is never as clear cut as movies make it and Moonlight shows the uncertainty one can go through in figuring out one’s own identity, especially in relation to others. This also shifts the importance away from specific labelling to Chiron’s coming of age story and how he discovers himself.

    I love this concept of an “underrepresented intersection of identities.” One can hold multiple identities and more than one of those identities can be underrepresented. Queer narratives may be underrepresented but Queer narratives of people of color, for example, are even more underrepresented. This also plays into representing Queer characters that aren’t hypersexualized. Moonlight manages to focus on Chiron’s different identities, from his blackness, to his sexuality, and even his poverty – all traditionally ignored identities. Intersectionality is such an important theme because a Queer white person from a wealthy background does not experience the same issues as a Queer person of color from a unprivileged background. Identities are multifaceted and no facet can go ignored.

    I enjoyed reading your post!

    -Matt ZB

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