Whether or not Moonlight took home the Best Picture trophy Sunday night, it would’ve been a standout film with deep personal, political and cultural resonance. But its win elevates the film to the level of cultural artifact. People will be able to tell from this win what mattered to people in 2016. And this year, black queer lives mattered.
Where mainstream LGBTQ media has offered mostly white representation before, with notable exceptions like Noah’s Arc, Moonlight centers on both unapologetic queerness and blackness. It treats its queer, black and Latino characters with dignity and respect.
In a world that is still striving to understand intersectionality, Moonlight doesn’t compartmentalize Chiron’s blackness and his queerness. It allows him, and other characters, to be radically fully-realized, whole people. And when you create psychologically complex characters full of agency, it allows us to feel that we can be the same. Read more (Opinion)
“Moonlight needs to win Best Picture. Not only because it is a cinematic feat that is to La La Land what Frida Kahlo is to paint-by-numbers, but because it sends an urgent message. A message that we’re ready to empathise with any story, no matter how far away they are from us, and how much they defy our systemic misconceptions.”