7:30 PM, 1st March, 2017
The most unique characteristic of the human race is our capacity to create art. No other species does this. Can you imagine the sort of films a giraffe would make? Me neither.
I’ll get to the point: Moonlight is a film that reminds us why we make movies. It is visual, visceral and, above all, a powerfully human experience that exemplifies the power of the medium. It is the sort of film that communicates ideas and evokes responses that can only be experienced through cinema. If you think that’s high praise, do yourself a favour and take a chance on this film. It may not become your favourite film ever, but you won’t regret having seen it.
In less hyperbolic terms, Moonlight is the story of a young black man told across three defining chapters in his life growing up in a rough neighbourhood of Miami. As he goes from childhood to adulthood, he struggles to find himself and his place in the world, while experiencing the ecstasy and pain of falling in love.
Yes, the story is a small one and its cast devoid of marquee names, but Moonlight is no less powerful or timeless than any star-studded Oscar-winning epic. Yes, it centres on themes of race, sexuality, social inequality, bullying and drug abuse – but it avoids clichés and somehow manages to be wholly universal in scope. You may have nothing in common with these characters, but this beautiful story of human connection and self-discovery will deeply resonate nonetheless.