The only real meme in "Moonlight" is that making sense of a life can come through forgiving betrayals.
The other parts of the film are too raw to be processed as learning lessons. The action takes place in the black section of Miami, Florida. In that world dealing drugs is a solid career path.
A bullied undersized African-American boy, Chitron is also confused by his sexuality. Because of all the other negative factors in his life, he can't take the time to sort that out. Instead, with the exception of one brief gay encounter as a teenager, he remains asexual
Along the way he is befriended by drug dealer from Cuba Juan and his girlfriend Theresa. They stick with him.
But his mother Paula and his supposedly best friend Kevin betray him.
Paula does it through addiction to drugs and a cruel mouth. Regarding the latter, she screams the word "faggot" at him.
Kevin does the betraying by participating in a hazing ritual. That involves beating up Chitron until he can't get up. Before that, Kevin had masturbated Chitron on the beach.
Time passes. Chitron relocates and builds up his body and a drug business. His mother calls him from rehab. And Kevin calls him from his job as chef to say he is sorry for the betrayal. After they hang up, Chitron has a wet dream.
Surprisingly, Chitron returns to Miami to visit his mother in rehab. She asks for forgiveness and he gives it. The emotion on both sides is deep.
Then, he goes to the small restaurant where Kevin cooks. Kevin picked up that skill in prison.
The meeting is awkward. They dance around the broken parts of the relationship.
Then Chitron drives Kevin home. There he admits that he has never been touched by another human being since that episode on the beach. His forgiveness comes in the form of allowing Kevin to embrace him.
That doesn't mean Chitron is "saved." He could be mowed down in the drug business. But he accepts love. That could heal some of the hurt from childhood and his teenage years. And prevent self-destruction.
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