Moonlight (2016 film)

"Moonlight (film)" redirects here. For the 2002 film, see Moonlight (2002 film).
Moonlight (2016 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Barry Jenkins
Produced by
Screenplay by Barry Jenkins
Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Based on In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue
by Tarell Alvin McCraney [1]
Music by Nicholas Britell
Cinematography James Laxton
Edited by
Distributed by A24
Release date
  • September 2, 2016 (2016-09-02) ( Telluride)
  • October 21, 2016 (2016-10-21) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes [2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.5 million [3] [4]
Box office $55.8 million [5]

Moonlight is a 2016 American coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Barry Jenkins, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. It stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali.

The film presents three stages in the life of the main character. It explores the difficulties he faces with his own sexuality and identity, including the physical and emotional abuse he receives as a result of it. [6] Filmed in Miami, Florida, beginning in 2015, Moonlight premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2016. Distributed by A24, the film was released in the United States on October 21, 2016, and has grossed over $55 million worldwide against a $1.5 million budget.

Moonlight received critical acclaim upon its release. At the 74th Golden Globe Awards it won Best Motion Picture – Drama and was nominated in five other categories. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins and McCraney, from a total of eight nominations.

Moonlight became the first film with an all-black cast, the first LGBT film, and the second lowest-grossing film domestically (behind The Hurt Locker) to win the Best Picture award. [7] [8] [9] The film's editor, Joi McMillon, became the first black woman to be nominated for an editing Oscar (alongside co-editor Nat Sanders), and Ali became the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar. [10] [11]


i. Little

In Liberty City, Miami, Cuban drug dealer Juan finds Chiron, a withdrawn child who goes by the nickname "Little," hiding from a pack of bullies in an abandoned crackhouse. He allows Chiron to spend the night with him and his girlfriend Teresa before returning him to his emotionally abusive mother Paula the next day.

Chiron continues to spend time with Juan, who teaches him how to swim and advises him to make his own path in life. One night, Juan encounters Paula smoking crack with one of his customers. Juan berates her for her addiction only for Paula to rebuke him for selling crack to her in the first place. She implies that she knows why her son gets beaten up by his peers, alluding to "the way he walks."

The next day, Chiron admits to Juan and Teresa that he hates his mother before asking what "faggot" means. Juan replies by stating that it is okay to be gay and that he should not allow other people to mock him for it. After asking Juan whether he sold drugs to Paula, Chiron leaves as Juan hangs his head in shame.

ii. Chiron

Now a teenager, Chiron juggles avoiding his classmate Terrel, who frequently bullies him, and spending time with Teresa, who has lived alone since Juan's death. Paula supports her crack addiction with prostitution, frequently coercing Chiron into giving her money that Teresa lends him.

One night, Chiron has a dream in which his friend Kevin has sex with a woman in Teresa's backyard. On another night, Kevin visits Chiron at the beach near his house. While smoking a blunt, the two discuss their ambitions and the nickname, "Black," that Kevin has given Chiron. After a sexually charged moment, they kiss, and Kevin masturbates Chiron.

The next morning, Terrel manipulates Kevin into participating in a hazing ritual. Kevin reluctantly punches Chiron until he is unable to stand before Terrel and several others stomp on him. Chiron later meets with a social worker, who urges him to reveal the identities of his attackers. He refuses, as he believes that reporting them will not solve anything. In class the next day, Chiron smashes a chair into Terrel's back. As the police arrest Chiron, he glares at a helpless Kevin.

iii. Black

Now going by the nickname "Black," an adult Chiron deals drugs in Atlanta. He receives frequent calls from Paula, who asks him to visit her at the drug treatment center where she now lives. One night, he receives a call from Kevin, who apologizes for his behavior in high school and invites Chiron to visit him in Miami. The next day, he wakes up after dreaming about Kevin to find that he has had a wet dream.

Visiting his mother, Chiron admits that he feels remorse for his lack of empathy towards her. Paula apologizes for having been a bad mother and not supporting him when he needed her. Chiron forgives her. He then travels to Miami and reunites with Kevin, who now waits tables and serves as a chef at a diner. He prepares a "chef's special," but Chiron is reluctant to speak or drink with Kevin.

Kevin tells Chiron that he had a child with an old girlfriend but the relationship didn't work out and he is fulfilled by his role as a father. Kevin confesses that he is surprised by Chiron's muscular appearance, occupation, and motivation for seeing him. After dinner, the two drive to Kevin's home. Kevin tells Chiron that, although his life may not have turned out the way he had hoped, he is still happy. Chiron admits he has not been intimate since their encounter on the beach. As Kevin comforts him, the film cuts to a shot of Chiron as a child alone on the beach. The child turns to face the camera before the screen cuts to black.

Other Languages
čeština: Moonlight (film)
Ελληνικά: Moonlight (ταινία)
Bahasa Indonesia: Moonlight (film 2016)
latviešu: Mēnessgaisma
magyar: Holdfény
Nederlands: Moonlight (2016)
norsk bokmål: Moonlight
português: Moonlight (filme)
српски / srpski: Мјесечина (филм)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Moonlight (film, 2016)
Tiếng Việt: Moonlight (phim 2016)
中文: 月光男孩