Friday, April 02, 2021

Agents of their own choices in Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight" and Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye"

In 2017, my seminar on films by African-American directors began with four weeks discussing Barry Jenkins's "Moonlight", with the fourth session being only about Paula (Naomie Harris), the main character's mother. Our discussion of her as an agent of her own choices and not just a crack addict was incredibly productive for interpreting the film in the sociopolitical context of the United States from the 1990s to the present. The same approach to the agency and choices of characters has so far been just as productive this semester in my seminar on Toni Morrison's early novels, especially in interpreting passages about the Breedlove family in her 1970 debut, "The Bluest Eye". (Andrew Shields, #111words, 2 April 2021)

Watch Oscar Nominee Naomie Harris Uncover Her ...
Naomie Harris as Paula in "Moonlight"

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