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on Feb 2, 2017

Drawn from MacArthur “genius” Tarell McCraney’s lauded play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, the American cinema has never produced anything even remotely like Moonlight. The film follows Chiron, the son of a crack-addicted mother, through his journey of burgeoning sexual self awareness in Miami’s Liberty City and Atlanta, Georgia, across three distinct stages in his life. Moonlight is a document of rare visual and sonic force, one that beyond its potent aesthetic shifts perspectives from the white-heteronormative space American movies are normally drawn, a move so radical it seems an impossibility at any other point in history save our own. Chiron, a pleasant homosexual child we watch grow into a hard and closeted homosexual man in order to protect himself from the hyper-masculine nihilism of boys who have been under nurtured in the hothouse environment of the Miami ghetto, is played by three different actors (Alex Hibbert in the childhood section “Little”; Ashton Sanders in the teenage section “Chiron”; and Trevante Rhodes in the adult section “Black”) across 20 years or so. Only recently have mainstream American movies created a space to see gay men, to take note of their struggles and resilience, let alone emotional and psychological perspectives. Gay black men have never had such privilege. Until now. (Brandon Harris)

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