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.