Moonlight in Miami: The Split Sociopolitical Reality of South Florida As Told By Barry Jenkins


  • Kevin J Greene


Film, Postmodernism, Sociology, Urbanism


Abstract: This paper seeks to explore the sociopolitical implications and reflections of the 2016 film Moonlight. By looking at the film with these considerations, and by contextualizing themes and moments from the film with contemporary scholarship and social data, I hope to garner a clearer look both at the film and the city it takes place in—Miami. As sociological literature from the past 30-odd years suggests, Miami has often been the site both of tense racial relations, as well as progressive ideals in the face of mass migration of which Miami has been a key site and apparent model of inclusivity. While this research indicates one sort of social history in Miami, Moonlight provides an additional perspective, from a marginal standpoint that has often been overlooked by academic research. By taking both of these perspectives into account, this paper hopes to illuminate how Miami as the progressive city of the future has so far failed to live up to these expectations, while also illustrating that such expectations are still within the realm of possibility.