Moonlight: A meditation on poverty, loneliness and masculinity
(Source: ifilm 傳影互動)
There are films that entertain you for two hours but does nothing more than that. And there are films that shed insight on the human condition and linger within you long after leaving the theater. Moonlight most definitely is the latter.
The film is set in three parts, each showcasing a moment in the life of the protagonist, Chiron (American English pronunciation: Kai-rone). Very much like memory, in which you can’t explain why certain moments are retained, three seemingly unrelated moments shape Chiron’s outlook of life, leading to how he (dis)connects with the world around him.
Moonlight opens with a mundane day in the Liberty housing projects in Florida, a hot and humid summer one where time seems to slow down, and all you hear are the insects in the distance. This is a world of poverty, drugs and bullying, this is where we meet Chiron as a child.
In a frustratingly refreshing way, we navigate scene after scene with a lead character of little words. Frustrating for us modern day audience, spoiled by instant gratification and known for our short attention span. Refreshing for the silence we secretly missed, bestowed upon us by director Barry Jenkins and the wonderful actors who portray Chiron, letting us seep under the character’s skin and react to his harsh environment in sync.
And react, is exactly how Chiron interacts with this world, using silence, stares and, later, hyper masculinity as an armour. To a queer viewer, Moonlight is highly relatable and even therapeutic perhaps. To other audience, the portrait of loneliness and isolation juxtaposed with fleeting moments of kindness and glimmers of hope, will make Moonlight your journey of the year.
Edited by: NC Kwong)
Watch the movie's Taiwan trailer