Published:  12:00 AM, 05 March 2017

Moonlight: A rummage for identity

Moonlight: A rummage for identity

A. S. M. Yiahia
explores some interpretations of the movie

The audio was started with the track by Boris Gardiner titled, 'every nigger is a star'. Viewers got the first entrance to the movie by these words. Screenwriter and Director, Barry Jenkins was keen enough to put a message towards the viewer that he is going to present a sharp portrayal of a nigger. Through this track he just confirmed that. Really this 111 minutes long movie elaborates very real scenarios of common African-American's life struggle, not only for their livelihood, but also for their identities. And the movie propounds that through Chiron, the main character. Mr. Director depicted that very wisely in his clear method with 3 installments: Childhood, adolescence and youth.

 In a sense viewers also watched, life how takes turns in its three major stages, when they appear; as every buddy have these three operable segments of life, along with such three turnings. I'm not saying that every buddy's turnings come with the same scenarios. But all we have to taste these stages of life. As well as Chiron got too, but in a very painful style. Actually African-Americans are mostly grown through a very intolerable and untold way in Miami. Most of them somehow pass their life in the dark tunnel of drug.

 I mean, directly or indirectly all the niggers' lives of Miami are gripped by the blue paw of drug. There the scenarios are so crucial that no buddy need to look for intoxication; whoever he / she is, drug will find them, in its own poisonous way. Like it, Moonlight's story-line based on. Lets' have a look there: Drama charts the life of a black gay youth named Chiron as he grows up in a rough neighborhood in Miami.

In the first segment, Chiron is a ten-year-old nicknamed 'Little' (Alex Hibbert) who is taken in by a kindhearted Cuban drug dealer (Mahershala Ali) and his girlfriend (Janelle Monáe). In the middle installment, a teenage Chiron (Ashton Sanders) explores his sexuality as he falls in love with a close friend. The final chapter follows Chiron in his twenties (Trevante Rhodes) as he reconnects with faces from his past, which reverberate with deep compassion and universal truths. It's a groundbreaking piece of cinema.

At this stage I can't stop myself to admit that Director Barry Jenkins gave his full efforts to make the big thing happen. And yes that happened pretty successfully. As Moonlight own the best picture's Award in Oscar. Along with this it earned the nomination of Oscar in 5 more categories and won 2 of them. To achieve that entire movie-team had to maintain a very simple but tractable and constant production routine. Among the team Mr. Director was the big inspiration, as he was also grew from a drug succinct neighborhood in Miami. According to many reliable sources- like Chiron, Barry Jenkins also had a mother who suffered from addiction. Thus Barry was inspired enough to make a film on such storyline.

 He's the only black filmmaker, who won the Oscar in 'Best Picture' category both for screenplay writing and directing the same movie. It's a historical milestone. 'Moonlight' is distinct for some many other reasons like: the first LGBT film, and the first film featuring an all black cast, to win the Oscar for 'Best Picture'. Mahershala Ali is the first Black Muslim person to win an Oscar for the 'Best Supporting Role' category. And it's the movie cost just 1.5 million US dollar, as Mr. Director admitted in an interview with BFI (British Film Institute). Nowadays, no one can imagine that within such a little budget a Hollywood film could be done. But Barry Jenkins has proved himself by made the movie with such tiny amount.

To complete the production he found the help from Brad Pitt to get required funds and distribution channels. Moreover, for the budgetary constraints of the production, the cast had to share one trailer for costume, hair and makeup. Even one rest room stall had to be shared by cast and crew. I must say, in such tighten reality Mr. Director never give-up and he didn't compromise with the quality. Story-acting-expressions-shots-art-light-sound everywhere he grab out the best of their levels.


 Though, he didn't go much away to find the filming location - South Florida, was that and took over 24 days from October to November 2015. The movie doesn't need large scale of computer graphics. I think Director concentrated his full in artists' performances. There he utilized some innovative ideas and method to find the perfect delivery. As he was telling in an interview, that the three actors who play Chiron never met during production. He wanted each of them to build their own persona of Chiron during their respective segments, with no influence from the other portrayals. The same technique was used with the actors who play Kevin.

After all the above mentioned words, I think it doesn't need much-more to say what would be the good reason to watch 'Moonlight' once again. But the movie elaborates some truths, which we have to perceive in between our attention and contemplation. As 'Moonlight' tells us three significances of life, through three summaries but in the style of three queries, which we need to conserve in our way of thinking: (A) Why to understand other's pain. (B) How to feel life (C) What to do throughout life.

The reviewer is a movie buff and working with The Asian Age

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