"Moonlight": Why Stories Matter

"Moonlight": Why Stories Matter

It's pretty important when a movie with a message gets recognized.


Movies can be pretty important to our culture. Think of all of the people who constantly reference lines from movies like “Mean Girls,” “Casablanca,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Easy A,” “Forrest Gump,” “Bridesmaids,” “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter,” to name just a few. These famous lines, plots and actresses and actors have become a part of our everyday lives.

We admire the characters and their stories, and we follow the lives of the people who get to be a part of film. However, there are some stories that remain untold in what we might consider to be our mainstream film industry. I’m sure there are plenty of lesser known movies that depict important topics, but how often is it that stories with very legitimate and real cultural messages win awards for film? How often do the people who play the characters in these films get recognized?

This awards season, I think something unique has happened: the movie “Moonlight” won the Oscar for Best Picture and some of the cast members were nominated for and won many awards as well. If you’re not sure what “Moonlight” is about or you’ve been dying to see it and haven’t had time, it’s definitely a movie worth watching. “Moonlight” follows the story of Chiron, a black boy growing up in Miami. The movie is split into three parts to represent his childhood, teenage years and adult life. Moonlight deals with topics related to drug addiction, LGBTQ+ issues and how the people in our lives shape who we are. The movie also depicts some societal issues such as the patriarchy and how masculinity can be toxic. This is a very real movie, depicting some very real issues that many people of our national community face every day.

So why does this movie and the story it tells matter? The answer lies within one word: representation. Representation of people of color, of LGBTQ+ people and of LGBTQ+ people of color. Toxic masculinity is also represented in this film, which is something we so rarely blatantly see in many of the movies that become popular year after year. When these topics are represented in such a real way, it makes it easier for us as viewers to see and understand. For example, Chiron was called derogatory names that are hurtful to the LGBTQ+ community and he was beat up after school because he didn’t fit into the toxic stereotypes of what masculinity often means in our society. His mother was a drug addict who appeared to be verbally abusive and manipulative. Chiron grew up around and was involved with dealing drugs. This is a reality for many people in the United States. When these untold stories are finally shared and when they receive recognition on a national stage, the messages are brought into our view of the world. Sometimes the messages are for pure entertainment, but other times the messages offer important social commentary.

The art of the film was equally amazing as the message communicated to the audience. I’m not a film student, but I can definitely recognize that the cinematography was amazing. The colors were vibrant and distinct, and I really think that helped contribute to the story. The screen writing was so well executed and I thought it was vital to the development of the story.

Overall, “Moonlight” deserved the recognition it received. I encourage you to find movies that move you and that have important messages. A mindless comedy or romance is always good every now and then, but those don’t always fulfill our desire to hear and see stories, and learn more about our world.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Politics and Activism

4 Ways The Plan To Deport International Students Is Dumb, According To An Exchange Student

The whole policy isn't very stay-in-place, if you ask me.

Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, July 6, new federal guidelines were announced that do not allow international students to remain in the U.S. unless they are taking classes in person. Which, if you ask me, is stupid.

Keep Reading... Show less

Naya Rivera Is Missing, And She Deserves SO Much More Than Being Labeled 'Big Sean's' Ex'

We are all sending prayers to Naya Rivera hoping she finds them so we can find her.

I woke up this morning looking to find Naya Rivera's name trending No. 1 on Twitter. I was reading all of everyone's prayers wishing to find her so she can be reunited with her baby boy who is only 4 years old.

Naya's son's name is Lord and the entire collective is hoping the Lord is with him right now. I'm a firm believer in the Fear of God, I hope all of Naya's love is protecting Lord right now.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still surging in the United States, where we are averaging 50,000 cases daily, wearing a face mask has become even more important. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has stressed the importance of wearing a mask and is pleading Americans to take notice of the "disturbing" rise in cases. It would be common sense to listen to him, considering we are dealing with a virus that has a mortality rate higher than what we have seen with other viruses.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's your fairy sex godmother back at it again and here to tell you that masturbating is an essential need, just like toilet paper.

It comes with so many benefits, besides cumming. According to the New York City Health Department, "you are your safest sex partner" during a pandemic, so why not use the best toys to get the job done? Shopping for the best fit can be tricky because there are a few factors to consider — whether it's the price point, experience, sound, and more.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 3 Smoothies Totally Cleared My Acne-Prone And Scarred Skin

How I drank my way to flawless skin.

With this summer being the first of its kind for most people to be in the midst of a global pandemic, almost everyone is beginning to have an overall focus on improving their health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone remembers the first time they went to one of the Disney parks. Spinning in teacups and having Goofy wrap his arms around my 8-year-old self were some of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm surely not alone in that.

Keep Reading... Show less

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments