In a supposed land of equality there are all too many of us who, from the cocoon of our comfortable lives, all too often ask questions such as: What is wrong with our society? Why are our prisons filled to capacity? Why can’t everyone just follow the right path and take advantage of the opportunities that exist for us all? Watch the Oscar-winning “Moonlight” and you may feel differently.
Without giving away too much of the plot, the story centers around three phases in the life of an African American youth (“Little”) living in a rough neighborhood in Miami. Without the role models, without the guidance, without the proper day-to-day guardianship, he is rudderless and largely helpless. He truly never stands a chance. How does one communicate your hopes, your fears without anyone to communicate them to? As for goals and aspirations – what are those?
I have not seen “La La Land” but by all indications, it appears to be a wonderful film. Perhaps fittingly it is the polar opposite of “Moonlight”; a throwback fantasy far flung from reality. And while I know I might appreciate the performances in the former, I associated deeply with the school bullying sequences in the latter – a life experience that made me stronger and helped shape my life for the better but that I will never forget.
“Moonlight’ will shock, sadden and disturb but should move you to introspection. As my mom used to say to me as we walked by someone less fortunate, “If there but for the Grace of God go I.” We will never and should never tolerate drugs nor crime but this movie works to force each and every one of us to contemplate the ‘why’ of it all. “Moonlight’ does not provide answers but does ask us to consider compassion and, eventually, redemption.