February 28, 2017 by 7mangoes
In such a genre-defying film , Moonlight shows us why we need more representation in films .
By Marel Terregone/ Inglewood, CA
This Oscar award-winning film , directed by Barry Jenkins is about the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. From childhood to adulthood it showcases a special spotlight on Chiron’s sexuality, identity, pain, and abuse.
The first reason why this story is so important is because, it shows black men in a different way. Throughout many films over the years black men have been portrayed as thugs, drug dealers, and slaves. Mostly playing the tough guy role. Moonlight shows us that black men can be vulnerable, soft, meek, and humble. This film gave no room for the hypermasculinity problem we have in the black community. Witnessing black men being ashamed or uncomfortable to show emotion all my life, its refreshing to finally see those emotions displayed in a mesmerizing way.
Another reason why this film matters is how Chiron gets taught early on that being gay is not a problem. His father figure Juan ( Mahershla Ali ) had a chilling conversation with Chiron ( Alex R. Hibbert ) about being called the word ” f*ggot ” by his own mother (Naomi Harris). Here is an excerpt from that conversation.
[Chiron ] – What’s a f*ggot ?
[ Juan ] – A faggot is a word used to make gay people feel bad.
[ Chiron ] – Am I a f*ggot ?
[ Juan ] – No. You’re not a f*ggot. You can be gay, but you don’t have to let nobody call you a f*ggot.
This scene alone makes you want to break down in tears for Chiron. It’s sad to know that he is only a small child but, is already exposed to homophobia. This made me realize that its essential to have supportive people like Juan in your corner to accept you for who you are. Chiron being picked on didn’t stop there through his teenage years he was severely bullied and beaten for being ” the odd man out “.
Lastly, Moonlight matters because, it is something that Black men in the LGBT community can look up to. This movie tells them that they can be whatever they want to be. To raise your head high and never cower.
If you have not seen Moonlight, please see this film immediately. Your money will not be wasted. It will leave you utterly breathless and mesmerized.