Plot: When bullies force a sensitive boy called Chiron to hide in a drug den, a crack dealer soon stumbles upon him. Seeing how neglected the boy is, the gangster becomes Chiron’s only role model. But Chiron isn’t like the other boys in the neighbourhood, and he learns to spend his whole life hiding from himself and others…
Starring: Alex Hibbert, Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monae, Naomie Harris, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes
Our thoughts: Don’t let the talk of drug dealers fool you, this isn’t anywhere near as action-packed as a gangster movie. But if you’re in the mood for a heartbreaking, personal exploration of identity, this is something you’ll thoroughly enjoy.
Moonlight is well aware or the typical cinematic portrayal of the ‘hood’, an aggressive, hyper masculine environment. It’s a world that Chiron is acutely aware that he’s not welcome in.
When we first meet our main character, he barely speaks. So beaten down by his drug-addicted single mother and his vicious schoolmates, Chiron is alienated from everyone.
Everyone except crack dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali) and his girlfriend Teresa (Janelle Monae). And his best friend Kevin.
Juan sees himself in the little boy and he sees his vulnerability. Everyone can see what makes Chiron different except himself: he’s gay. And that makes him a target in this Miami neighbourhood. Even his own mother can’t stand him.
The film is separated into three chapters, covering different periods of Chiron’s life. It starts in his boyhood, where he’s a shy boy, covers his awkward teenage years, before he goes on to take after his drug dealing mentor.
But the man that Chiron becomes is not the man he ever wanted to be; he never knew how to truly be himself.