They say that the “eyes are the windows to the soul” and that appears to be Director Barry Jenkins’ secret weapon for his latest work, the masterfully crafted film MOONLIGHT which premiered last Friday at the Angelika Film Center in NYC.
MOONLIGHT chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. When casting actors to portray the lead character, whose story is told at different ages over three defining chapters of his life, Jenkins looked to the eyes. “I felt that if I could find these actors with same feeling in their eyes, you wouldn’t see the rest of them, you would see what’s in here [points to eyes].” Though the three actors may not have the most obvious physical resemblance, they all share an expressive and soulful look that embodies the character of Chiron. Jenkins did not allow the three actors to meet during filming to preserve the individuality the character possessed at each stage of his life.
Jenkins, along with supporting actor André Holland and the film’s composer Nick Britell, sat in for a Q&A at the Angelika Film Center in NYC to share a few more gems from MOONLIGHT’s creative process. Push play to sit in on the conversation.