"Parents, Moonlight is the film your kids need to see more than you do."

The credits have ended, the lights are on and the cinema is yet to move.

I watch as one man in the theater with me lifts his “suns out, guns out” singlet to wipe his cheek.

There are few films that deliver on expectations but Moonlight earns each and every clap of its applause.

The Golden Globes Best Picture winner follows the story of one man, Chiron, in three stages of his life. As a child, an adolescent and as an adult.

In the same stroke the film paints a life affected by poverty, drugs and bullying, it paints one nourished by love, trust and safety.

The film is an adaptation of the play, In Moonlight Black Boys Turn Blue, by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

McCraney told The LA Times the story loosely echoes his own life, his drug-affected mother, his struggles with sexuality, his race and his difficult childhood. It is perhaps this sense of autobiography, this undercurrent of truth, that lends the film its power.

Trevante Rhodes as adult Chiron in Moonlight. (Source: A24).

But how you are affected by such power will change depending on who you are, how you see the world and how the world sees you.

As a young gay woman, I saw the story of a child hurt by words and concepts he was yet to understand. I saw my own childhood.

The film may not give you the moment of, 'this is me, this is my experience' but it will give you an almost crushing insight into the lives of countless others.

Moonlight is not a story for me or for any one person, gender, race or sexuality, it is a story for all of us.

The film takes the masculine stereotypes so often seen in popular culture and demonstrates how true 'male' strength is stronger than brutal force.

The character of Juan, (Mahershala Ali), the man whose muscles bulge, whose pockets are lined with the proceeds of a drug trade, offers unflinching tenderness to the boy (child Chiron) he finds hiding in a drug den.


Chiron, caught and afraid, is unable to speak a word as Juan coaxes him from the building and into the safety of his presence.

The character of Juan teaching Chiron how to swim. (Source: A24 Films.)

When Juan pulls up outside his home, he turns to the silent boy and says, "My girl will get you to speak."

In seven words, Juan shows Chiron how even a man of his stature and nature still relies on the empathetic power of a woman.

The shelter offered by Juan and his partner, Teresa, (Janelle Monae), builds such a foundation of trust within the young boy that he offers them a rare glimpse into his vulnerability.

"What's a faggot?" He asks one night at the dinner table.

Juan shifts in his seat, the audience brace their chairs for impact, "A faggot is... a word used to make gay people feel bad."

A sigh of relief escapes almost every mouth in the room.

Chiron's sexuality plays a role throughout the film but it is treated almost as secondary in comparison to other more pronounced issues.

Moonlight gracefully swerves from painting him as the sexual-beast that is so often adorned to gay men and instead, presents him as Chiron.

Chiron, a man whose softness cannot be hidden, no matter how many muscles are built around it.

Was The Golden Globes a celebration of talent or a sexist swipe at women?

Moonlight is currently showing in theaters Australia wide. It is rated M.