I have wanted to see Moonlight since it opened, and yet each time I was about to go there was … something. A change in plans, illness, or just something inside that said, not now. Perhaps it was because I was knee-deep in the novella, trying to keep my head in that space … but that was no longer the situation on Thursday, and everything in me said yes.
This movie. It broke my heart in so many ways—with its story, with its people, with its languages, with its music and light and color and. And. And. I have never wanted to hold a character quite as much as I wanted to simply hold this boy. I cried at the end. My heart still hurts writing this. I have not ached like this because of a work in years.
I had a setback with the novella today, a minor issue comparatively but it still felt overwhelming for most of the day, a mixture of self-directed anger and outward-looking anxiety that was just … crippling. So instead I thought back to this movie, to this work that took my heart for a journey and then put it back in place saying, now you’re a better human being. I thought about Moonlight all day and I wondered if it is possible to write a genre story that has that much human depth and texture, that can sink so deeply into character and let us rest in those moments that are not plot but story.
I don’t know if it is; I don’t know if any one story can sustain that much weight. But it seems like a damn fine hill to die on—