I watched the film Moonlight on a plane flight between Austin and LA. I think it’s a good movie describing a man’s self discovery of his homosexuality while growing up as a black man from a poor and broken family.
It’s difficult for me to relate to being gay, poor, or coming from a difficult background however the movie offers a present day perspective on some universal themes such as: How one can change identity with different era’s of their life, or the struggle of carrying a confusing and deeply personal secret.
You can read various synopsis online but a couple neat things I liked were:
- The motif of water is used throughout the film. Water appears in each chapter with intention. I’m still not sure what this means, but I think it has something to do with water being a symbol of change, similar to how protagonist has drastically changed himself over time
- The movie was originally written as a play where all three acts of the movie are done simultaneously on the stage so the audience can see a typical day in the life of each character. Only halfway through the play is the audience supposed to realize that all three characters are the same person from different stages of his life
- I noticed in the last act, the character Black rides through Miami in his whip while playing a chopped an screwed version of Jidenna’s single Classic Man (2015). Chopped and screwed music is a style of remix to turn a rap track into something more like an R&B jam. I’m thinking this track is interesting because the movie discusses the idea of making your own decisions and becoming your own man. And while Black is a stereotypical tough guy trapper (drug dealer), he is also a closeted homosexual was a sensitive child growing up.
- The actor for the character Black is a former UT-Austin student
- While some of the things that occurs in our protagonist’s life seemed to me unrealistically extreme, like the fact that he’s got a crackhead mom, he’s gay, and he gets sent to prison. I think the way the actors talked and postured really sold me on realism since I pay attention to the rap music scene a lot and the manner of speaking sounded consistent with what I’ve listened to. Although this is just me and I’ve never lived in the ghetto.
I connect greatly with changing of one’s identity and of the struggle of keeping personal secrets. I am very different from the person I was high school and different still from who I was at the start of college. If were to compare myself now to the kid I was, I think I would be almost unrecognizable. As for keeping secrets, I’m hoping to open up more about my life experiences in later posts.
Here are a couple additional video commentaries on Moonlight that I really liked: