Filmmaker Barry Jenkins Moonlight is an elegant and brilliantly evocative film about coming-of-age and love.This is one of the best films I have seen so far this year. There is an aura of quiet grace about Moonlight that makes you think long after the end credits have rolled. You go away wondering what is that little act of help and love you can do today to help someone.
Moonlight is set in 3 acts and takes you through the journey of Chiron, a young fatherless African-American boy, who is bullied and roughed up by neighborhood kids and is confused about his sexuality. Chiron learns to fend for himself since his mother is a drug addict and is dealing with her own set of challenges. We watch Chiron or Little as he is known shape up from a shy young boy to a diffident teenager and a confident adult. What rescues Chiron is love. I thought the film was how a little bit of love can go a long way in helping people.
The film is based on Tyrell Alvin McCraney’s book In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. The book is based on McCraney’s life. Ironically, both McCraney and Jenkins grew up in the same part of Miami, but did not know each other then.
We caught up with Jenkins in San Francisco when he was here for the 39th Mill Valley Film Festival. We spoke to him about the making of Moonlight and what drew him to make this film. How did he get to choose the actors, who played the central character Chiron? How did he get Naomi Harris known for her role as Money Penny in James Bond films to act in Moonlight? Tune in to find out the answers to this and other questions with Jenkins.
LISTEN: BARRY JENKINS ON THE MAKING OF “MOONLIGHT”
Moonlight stars Mahershala Ali, Naomi Harris, Trevante Rhodes, Janelle Monae, Andre Holland and Alex Hibbert. The film opens on Friday, Oct 28, 2016 in San Francisco Bay area.