Lighting up the Oscars

“Moonlight” wins Best Picture for its look at several controversial topics 

Kara Billington

Argonaut

Barry Jenkins’ 2016 film “Moonlight” was awarded Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. After an announcement mix up, “Moonlight” was presented as the winner for its insightful look into controversial topics like homosexuality, racial issues, rough neighborhoods and drugs.

Based on the play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the film looks at the life of Chiron, a young African American man living in Miami, as he explores his sexuality and struggles to connect with his mother, all while searching for his place in the world.

The film follows Chiron through three chapters of his life — an innocent kid known as Little, an angsty teen and as a grown man working the streets as a drug dealer named Black.

Little is bullied by his classmates for being gay and becomes reserved. His only friend, Kevin, teaches him how to stand up for himself.

After running from other children, he hides out in a popular drug hole where he is found by the drug dealer who runs that area.

Juan takes Little under his care and becomes his father-figure to him.

Through this heartfelt film, viewers get an intimate look into what it is like to be discriminated against for things people like Chiron have no control over.With the concern of racial discrimination at last years Oscars and the recent apprehension regarding the prejudice surfacing from the White House, “Moonlight” was a prime candidate and deserving victor of the award.

Chiron represents minorities and the under-privileged people around the country and the world who become victimized. With the apparent rise of discrimination seen around the United States sprouting from the country’s leadership, a film highlighting several controversial topics winning such an important award provides some hope. While “Moonlight” has a tough front, it takes an artistic look deeper into very personal moments and emotions.

This tough, intimate structure presented in the film reflects Chiron’s hard exterior and sensitive interior.

“Moonlight” rightfully won Best Picture because it dared to not just look at, but feature, such provocative topics as homosexuality and racial issues in this beautiful, personal cinematic endeavor.

Kara Billington can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @K_Billington3


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