One of the films I attended during HIFF this year on Oahu was Moonlight. It made me really glad I did.
Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins was set in Florida about an underprivileged boy called Chiron (pronounced shy-ROWN).
Chiron was different from the other boys and he was always being picked on whilst growing up. He had little emotional support until he stumbled upon a drug dealer with a kind heart and caring girlfriend who were rocks of support, love and stability for Chiron when he needed it most through the depths of his mothers neglect and drug abuse.
Without giving too much away, this film was truly moving. It was a powerful tool in facing your very own self asking, am I living as truly as I could be? Am I still me? It reminds you of some childhood memories, close, deep memories that have played parts in shaping who you are.
Without a doubt Moonlight to me showed great promise to be a popular box office hit at the regular screenings of your local cinema. It didn’t have a weird indie vibe that I’m usually not into, and kind of what I was expecting for a film festival. It felt like the real deal. It felt like the kind of movie that would make an impact on people. I walked out of there saying wow. In awe at how raw, how authentic and deep the film was. I even somewhat related to certain parts of the film and I imagine many others would too.
I was glad to hear (and not surprised) that Moonlight actually won the Halekulani Golden Orchid for Best Narrative Feature. The Golden Orchid, as described on the official HIFF website for this year, “is bestowed upon the narrative and documentary films that express the best artistic and technical excellence and promote cross-cultural understanding.”
Cross-cultural understanding, yes, but people understanding. Understanding the depth of the human experience, understanding coming of age stories, feelings, and digging and searching to the depths of ones deepest fears, experiences and emotions all through the viewing of a film, YES!
With outstanding reviews so far, keep your eyes peeled for Moonlight in theatres soon. I’ve no doubt of it’s upcoming success. A big hand of applause to the directors, producers, writers and actors. Impressive stuff.