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'In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue' divine diversity at the Oscars


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'In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue' divine diversity at the Oscars

The D word played a starring role in 2107 Oscars, not the Donald word, but diversity.

After two years bereft of actors of colour the 2017 extravaganza saw seven minority actors recognised, that includes a record six black performers.

Nominations are one thing winning is another and the success of ‘Moonlight’ comes as minorities in United States are coming to terms with an appalling 12 months just gone and a grim future to come under the ‘orange clown,’ a.k.a. Donald Trump.

Trigger happy police prompting the Black Lives Matter protests and the bloody homophobia that saw 49 mainly Hispanic people killed with 53 injured in a Orlando gay club cast a grim shadow over the US and its minorities.

‘Moonlight’ based on the play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’ by Tarell Alvin McCraney, and rewritten and directed for the screen by Barry Jenkins is unashamedly black and unashamedly gay, two for the price of one.

The success of the film is of real significance.

The fact that it picked up three Oscars, for best film, best supporting actor, Mahershala Ali, and best adapted screenplay for Barry Jenkins is a move very much in the right direction.

A probing at times painful film that uses race and gay sex in Miami as the main themes is much removed from the recent list of white winners.

Another film ‘Fences’ also provided some much called for diversity with the excellent Viola Davis winning best supporting actress for her role as Rose, the harassed wife of a former baseball pro played by Denzel Washington, who also directed the piece.

Washington has now extended his record as the most nominated black actor ever.

It was not only in front of the camera that the winds of diversity blew, Kimberley Steward became only the second black female producer to be nominated for ‘Manchester by the Sea.’

The documentary category was made up entirely of people of colour.

Women directors were conspicuous by their absence in the best director category and Alison Schroeder was the only female co-writer for ‘Hidden Figures’ to get a nomination.

All in all the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has made a valiant attempt to diversify.

When the nominations were announced the African American Film Critics Association President Gil Robertson said:“The African American Film Critics Association is totally thrilled with the record-breaking number of nominations earned this year by actors and other creative artists of colour.”

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