With a story about surviving sexual assault, The Light of the Moon may perhaps be one of the most timeliest films of the year.
The long awaited directorial debut from writer/director Jessica M. Thompson is a very important film with a cast includes Stephanie Beatriz, Michael Stahl-David, Conrad Ricamora, and Catherine Curtin.
The Light of the Moon takes place over the span of six weeks after Latina architect Bonnie (Beatriz) makes her way back home after a night of hanging out with friends in Brooklyn and she quickly becomes the victim of sexual assault. One can’t blame her for wanting to keep what happened to her a secret. There’s a lot of feelings of blame that come with it. Could she have done anything to stop the assault and things of that nature? Eventually, Bonnie opens up to her boyfriend Matt (Stahl-David) but refuses to realize the tragedy that she just went through. It eventually leads to more complications with her life. Can Bonnie and Matt have the intimate relationship that they had before the attack?
Throughout it all, Bonnie is somehow able to keep it straight, sense of humor and all. After what she went through, the relationships with her friends and co-workers are more important than ever, even if they change as a result. While many Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans will know Beatriz for her role as Detective Rosa Diaz, the actress most certainly does drama as she did in the critically acclaimed Short Term 12 a few years back. In a year that’s deep with leading performances from women, Beatriz is going to be on the outside looking in during during an awards season stacked with contenders.
Thompson’s screenplay tells the story through Bonnie’s point of view as a survivor. Her documentary filmmaking background is an added plus in telling the story through extensive research. Thompson’s direction gets performances from the actors that feel authentic to the subject matter–not that I would know through personal experience but I certainly feel for anyone who has ever been a victim. The camera movement created by Autumn Eakin’s cinematography, with the wide tracking and close-ups, help tell Bonnie’s story.
When the film premiered at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival in March where it took home the Audience Award for Narrative Feature Competition, nobody could have predicted just how timely it would be upon the release in early November. The release, early last month, came at a time where the film and television industries had been taken by storm with people opening up on being sexually assaulted or harassed after years of feeling forced into silence. With the floodgates open and no signs of shutting down anytime soon, The Light of the Moon is going to be one of the most important films in all of 2017.
Imagination Worldwide and The Film Collaborative opened The Light of the Moon in limited release starting in early November followed by a slow theatrical roll-out. For more on where the film is screening, click here.