The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival


The last film in our LGBTQ Pride Month series, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight is a poetic and vulnerable exploration of identity.

A triptych based on an unpublished semi-autobiographical play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight follows young Chiron from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. Growing up in Miami at the height of the crack epidemic, Chiron is an outcast from the first, borderline neglected by his drug-addicted mother and ostracized by his peers. Chiron’s turbulent coming-of-age is a piercingly poignant tale of navigating Blackness, queerness, vulnerability, and masculinity.

Moonlight received nominations for eight Academy Awards, garnering wins in the categories of Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins and McCraney, and – perhaps most memorably – Best Picture.


“Did any gay man who came of age, as I did, in the era of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and AIDS, think he’d survive to see a version of his life told onscreen with such knowledge, unpredictability, and grace?” – Hilton Als, The New Yorker

“It’s just when you think you hear the clichés clicking into place that Jenkins pulls the rug out from under you.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“A triptych illustrating the tidal ebb and flow of identity, Jenkins’ film is awash in dreaminess, while still examining the life of one young man with piercing clarity.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair