Over the past Labor Day weekend, I was blessed to be offered a scholarship to attend the 2016 Telluride Film Festival. During this intense, yet breathtaking three-day weekend of movie-watching expeditions, there was one film that I feel absolutely honored to have watched, especially for its premiere, no less! Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight was nothing short of a masterpiece. Although I tend to view mainstream films with scepticism, this particular cinematic work had me on the edge of my seat (practically in tears) from beginning to end.
The film is scheduled for official (USA) release on October 21, 2016. You can watch the trailer here. To keep some suspense going, I will hold off on a full synopsis and hope you go out and watch this film immediately upon its release.
Now, I want to talk about the two most important nuances of this film that makes it an extremely valuable cinematic piece of art (especially for the mainstream world). First, the cinematography. Brilliant. Just absolutely positively astonishing. In the first 5 minutes of the film, you know you are watching the work of a master. The camera takes you on an emotional ride throughout the course of the film. You don’t just peer into the lives of the characters, you become part of their lives.
Finally, the content of the film is extremely taboo and for many, controversial. However, this type of subject matter is what makes art wonderful. This film brings forth touchy topics revolving around identity politics and self-exploration of sexuality, all taking place in an extremely adverse and drug-fueled environment. Many film dramas tend to navigate through similar, tumultuous envrionments but none get so close to home, so candid, and so raw than Moonlight. Mark your calendars, because seeing this gem in a cineplex will confirm that there is still hope for mainstream cinema.