That a film about the African American experience that features neither slaves nor maids, where gangs, drugs and law enforcement are not the focus, where the only white people you see are background actors in a diner and some "filler" teens in high school, and where the central character is complex, largely unfathomable, but still touchingly relatable, are a few factors among many that make Moonlight a very original and important film. Yet, with all the weight of 'difference' that it carries, it is, on a very simple level, a good, slow film.
I did carry a tear or two at the beginning of the third act. I cried, I think, because at the end of the day, regardless of race and sexuality, we all want to take command of our identity - in adolescence, in adulthood. But we don't really change. Yes, we evolve, but mostly, we don't change, however much we try to convince ourselves and others. Whatever it is that we are hiding, protecting, or projecting, we build our identities on a case-by-case basis of compromises that we eventually can agree with and form into us. For some this happens at an earlier stage than it does for others. So, it was in acknowledgement of this journey taken by Chiron, this unknown journey, that made cry. It is the journey that we don't see in the film, the journey that was probably the hardest one of them all. It is a journey that we have all made, to greater or lesser extents.