Frank Ocean’s passionate essay on Moonlight will take your breath away
The entertainment company behind the Oscar-winning LGBT+ film Moonlight has released a companion book and Frank Ocean has written the stunning foreword.
The 2016 film, which stars Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex Hibbert, explores the life of an African-American boy at different ages – portraying him struggling to reconcile his sexuality and identity.
The book features the full screenplay, an essay by Hilton Als, stills from the film and transcripts of Oscars acceptance speeches made by the Moonlight team, as well as Ocean’s foreword.
Ocean, who has previously discussed his relationships with other men, began the prologue: “In the southeast, in our youth I saw streetlights and taillights and lighters light spoons and guns alight but there was no moonlight.”
Later, he describes knocking on the door of another boy, and writes: “You answered it without a shirt, and turned your back on me and I shoved you for leaving me hanging but we were too familiar for greetings, we were too familiar for so many words and I slept over.
“On a late Saturday morning when the languor fell away we ran out into sunlight, it beamed on the targets of our brown backs.”
Frank’s foreword for Moonlight pic.twitter.com/h0hcM5WhtN
— Blonded. (@blondedocean) October 2, 2019
His foreword, and the image of “targets” on their backs, shows one of the main themes of the film; masculinity within black communities and the persecution of queer people of colour.
He finishes: “When we arrived we paid to stare off into silver screens and they wouldn’t shine any light on our situation. And for so long it was like we didn’t exist.”
8 x 11 in. / 224 pages
– Forward by Frank Ocean
– Essay by Hilton Als
– Academy Award Acceptance speeches pic.twitter.com/D8QxGq9sHb
— A24 (@A24) September 26, 2019
In the poem, Ocean takes the reader back to the monumental Supreme Court marriage equality decision in June 2015.
He also wrote a personal essay after the Pulse mass shooting, in which he wrote about homophobia and transphobia, North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’ and the violence and discrimination many LGBT+ people continue to face.
A24 has also released similar books to accompany two more iconic films: Ex Machina and The Witch.