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Barry Jenkins MOONLIGHT, nominated for eight Oscars, is a masterpiece, a daring film about what it means to grow up poor and black, a film about sexuality and masculinity, about damages to the soul, about sensuality and goodness.


Every few years there comes a film that reminds you of how glorious cinema can be. Films that are so striking that you either want to talk about them for hours afterwards or be silent for days, films that don’t just move you because their plot is moving, but because it is clear that something absolutely unbelievable has been achieved, films that take big risks and uncover a new language in the process. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE was a film like that for me as well as Michael Cimono’s HEAVEN’S GATE. MOONLIGHT is in the same league. It’s not even a question of whether MOONLIGHT is the best film of the year. Even if Barry Jenkins were to have nothing to say, James Laxton’s wonderful camera work would be enough to crown it a masterpiece. But Jenkins has a lot to say.

MOONLIGHT is split into three episodes and revolves around the life of young Chiron who grows up poor and black in Miami with a drug addicted mother. The first part of MOONLIGHT, called “Little,” keeps breaking with conventions, especially when it comes to black masculinity. It begins with a drug deal and you think you know what kind of film will follow. Jenkins then shows the tenderness of a drug dealer and questions the construction of masculinity, financial constraints, and US drug politics which Ava DuVerney's film 13TH shows is a continuation of the politics of slavery and segregation. The camera and lighting in MOONLIGHT gives the images a sheen that turns characters fighting for their survival and identity into heroes.

Chiron is 17 in the second part and he is an adult with the street name “Black” in the third one. It becomes more and more about Chiron’s friendship with Kevin who is also an outsider at school. It’s about sexuality and how boys become men – which is soul crushing but can also be sensual and filled with goodness. MOONLIGHT is a film made for the cinema screen. There isn’t enough light on smaller screeners.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


USA 2017, 111 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Barry Jenkins
Author: Barry Jenkins
DOP: James Laxton
Montage: Nat Sanders, Joi McMillon
Music: Nicholas Britell
Distributor: DCM
Cast: Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, André Holland, Janelle Monáe
FSK: 12
Release: 09.03.2017




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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