Boys / Masculinity / Men / Movies / Sexuality

Feeling (the) Moonlight

Moonlight is a movie about a boy growing up black and closetted queerness/asexuality. It’s about boyhood and masculinity in the US. It’s about kin, biological and found. It’s about love from unexpected places and people. It’s about overt violence and microaggressions in schools. [And the all-black world of the movie makes this a must see for all university students who would chose black – it’s possible, it’s real]. It’s also very much about an ordinary, introverted, gentle boy who grows up without a father present and is inadequately mothered.
Now, though, I don’t know whether I liked Moonlight. That doesn’t mean I disliked it. Far be it.
Something more complicated than that. Like someone new about whom you suddenly realise, after the first few minutes, you might like to know for a long while, I am still feeling Moonlight. I am trying to figure out why it makes me feel this way, feeling how I am when I think about it. [Last month, before I could watch the movie, I saw an interview between Barry Jenkins, the director, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. But I recommend that you first watch the movie; all part of the feeling]. Then find some quality time with yourself and your feelings.
No, while watching Moonlight I realised this was going beyond hooking-up. It’s a highly accomplished piece of work, Moonlight, no doubt about it. From the nonacting  acting, and the light, and cinematography, and direction, and the realism of the movie, everything was slow cooked and new stars, as in the galaxy, were born. I thought the clothes worn by the teenage Chiron (played by Ashton Sanders), clothes my friends used to say were American Wholesaler jeans and in South Africa we would call Pep jeans, were so antidope they have to be cool. Then there are the unpowdered black faces, shiny and blue-black as they refract the light, the unhurried pace of the story as it unfolds, the touching moment between the now grown young man Chiron/Black (played by Trevante Rhodes) and Kevin (Andre Holland).
I might not have the feeling-word for it right now, but I suspect Moonlight is one of those movies I will remember at the oddest of moments, dream about it too, and watch several times over. I recommend that you watch the movie (Can’t give you my sources on the interwebs can I). And then see the interview with Jenkins here ( and that betweeen Coates and Jenkins here (

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