Based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’, the new movie Moonlight explores growing up poor, black and gay. For me, this film was a beautiful love story between Chiron and himself where he struggles to understand and love himself. This is Barry Jenkin’s second feature film and has broken the story into three distinct chapters. This much needed social document showcases a world of drug abuse, poverty, school violence and mass incarceration. However, the essence of this film could be described as simply experiencing a first kiss or teaching a child how to swim or even cooking a meal for an old friend. The main character, Chiron, carries a heavy heart throughout the film as he works his way through the homophobic schoolyard while also having a painful relationship with his drug-addict mother, Paula. The way the film introduced Juan (and his girlfriend Teresa) was a great cinematic experience and watching his story intertwine with Chiron melted my heart.

Moonlight has set the bar extremely high this year for films and even though it is only January, it could easily take out first place.