By Caitlin Herlihy

I was so thankful that the class made time to see Moonlight last week, mainly because it forced me to finally go see the stunning film everyone’s been talking about. Walking into the theater, I had no idea what to expect other than it being a candidate for “Best Picture” in the upcoming Academy Awards. As I watched, I worked through a range of emotions, some more surprising than others. A film’s ability to move the audience to such extremes speaks volumes to its artistic nature and beautiful writing.

During the film I felt fear, disappointment, nervousness, confusion and compassion. The film exposed me to a lifestyle of poverty, drugs, and oppression that I have never known. I found myself squirming uncomfortably throughout the film. I wanted to tell Chiron to leave town or slap his mom for being so careless.My heart broke when Juan told Chiron he sells drugs. Moonlight evoked real emotions that I was not prepared to address. I was amazed at how uncomfortable I felt watching something so unfamiliar to the life I live.

The film chronicled the life of a black boy growing up in South Florida and the bullying, drugs, and love he experiences. In this New York Times review written by A.O. Scott, he says, “To insist that stories about the poor, oppressed or marginal groups of people are really about everyone can be about anyone is a way of denying their specificity.”I think this is a really cool point about the film. The director’s ability to make the audience empathize with Chiron makes it the best film (I’ve seen) this year.


Still from “Moonlight”


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5 Responses to Moonlight

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree. I got so emotional watching this movie, not crying or anything, but I could feel all these emotions stirring underneath me, just like the fear, confusion, and compassion you felt. Moonlight was one of the best film I saw last year, against the tough competition of Arrival and, the Romanian movie, Bacalaureat. I think the Romanian one will be translated into either Baccalaureate or Graduation, we’ll see.

    -Kevin Yu

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I would love to see Moonlight win best picture this year. I haven’t felt this way about a movie in a long time! Like you, I was completely stunned by this film. What’s so amazing about this movie is that even though viewers like us, who feel so far removed from the character’s experiences, can relate and empathize on the basis of human emotions. Regardless of Chrion’s upbringing, circumstances, sexual orientation, etc., I felt 100% connected to him throughout the entire film. That, to me, is rare.

    -Lydia Geisel

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I hope Moonlight wins best picture because it was stunning, especially the scenes on the beach both day and night. Its true that you do feel uncomfortable when watching this because its almost like looking into a window at his life. We see things we shouldn’t see and things that only few people know about Chiron and we feel connected to him because of this. Great movie.

    -Kendra Thornotn

  4. mediaphiles says:

    So, I woke up last Saturday and decided I wanted to watch a movie and Moonlight ended up being the lucky pick. I’d have to say it was a great movie but the twist that happens I had no idea that was coming. It kind of threw me off but it makes sense, because there are people out their who suffers the same things and has to find something to cope with to find a comfortable space to live in. Overall I enjoyed watching the movie.

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