Writer-director Barry Jenkins (MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY) returns with an impeccably crafted study of African-American masculinity from a vital creative voice in contemporary cinema. Though his story is set in Miami, Jenkins shuns the familiar neon-lit aesthetic for a different kind of life, miles away from South Beach, in an area hit by a crack epidemic. Bullied at school and beaten down by a harsh home life, young Chiron risks becoming a statistic: another black man dominated and ultimately destroyed by the system. As he grows, it becomes clear that his real battle is an internal one: reckoning with his complex love for his best friend.
MOONLIGHT takes Chiron from childhood to his teens to adulthood, but instead of offering a clear progression of time, Jenkins plunges us into an impressionistic vision of Chiron's psyche in which sensuality, pain, and unhealed wounds take center stage. Anchored in an unforgettable performance by emerging talent Trevante Rhodes (as the older Chiron), MOONLIGHT explores the human need to feel connected. But although its themes could be called "universal," they are firmly grounded in a specific understanding of African-American experience. This film was waiting to be made, and Jenkins was the one to make it.
“MOONLIGHT takes the pain of growing up and turns it into hardened scars and private caresses. This film is, without a doubt, the reason we go to the movies: to understand, to come closer, to ache, hopefully with another.” - Joshua Rothkopt, Time Out NY
“The best film at the Toronto International Film Festival this year is also the most delicate, such a calm yet precise piece of filmmaking that you’re barely prepared for its shimmering, quietly sensational ending. “ - Stephanie Zacharek, TIME
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