“Moonlight (IFFBoston Fall Focus)” – Oct 23rd

Join the Boston Sunday Night Film Club this Sunday, Oct 23rd at 7:30p for Moonlight (IFFBoston Fall Focus) at the Brattle Theatre. Look for Sean wearing a nametag in the theatre lobby about 15 minutes before the film. As always, after the film we will descend on a local establishment for dinner/drinks/discussion.

Note: This film is the opening night of the IFFBoston Fall Focus. Passes are required. Download and print your pass. Please arrive early. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is NOT guaranteed. Theatre is not responsible for seating over capacity.

Writer-director Barry Jenkins made waves with his feature debut MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY (IFFBoston 2008). Not only did it give the hipster-romance-indie genre a much-needed shot of artistic vigour, butunlike most of those filmsit took place in an America where race and class are defining aspects of life. Now, Jenkins sophomore feature MOONLIGHT makes good on MELANCHOLYs promise. This is an impeccably crafted study of African-American masculinity from a vital creative voice in contemporary cinema. Though his story is set in Miami, Jenkins shuns the familiar neon-lit aesthetic that the likes of Michael Mann have associated with the Florida hot spot. Instead, he shows a different kind of life, miles away from South Beach, in an area hit by a crack epidemic. Its here that we meet young Chiron. Bullied at school and beaten down by a harsh home life, Chiron risks becoming a statistic: another black man dominated and ultimately destroyed by the system. Despite his small stature and taciturn nature, Chiron is a survivor, and, as he grows, it becomes clear that his real battle isnt even on the streets. Its an internal one: reckoning with his complex love for his best friend. MOONLIGHT takes Chiron from childhood to his teens to adulthood, but it absolutely defies coming-of-age conventions. Instead of offering a clear progression of time, Jenkins plunges us into an atmospheric subjectivity, an impressionistic vision of Chirons psyche in which sensuality, pain, and unhealed wounds take centre stage with staggering power. Anchored in an unforgettable performance by emerging talent Trevante Rhodes (as the older Chiron), MOONLIGHT explores the human need to feel connected. But although its themes could be called universal, they are firmly grounded in a specific understanding of African-American experience. This film was waiting to be made, and Jenkins was the one to make it.

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