A Look at Moonlight’s Screenwriter Barry Jenkins


For good reason, "Moonlight" is acclaimed as one of the most moving films of 2016. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, the film was adapted from the play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue" by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Like the play, Jenkins' script delves into an intimate examination of a young black man questioning and discovering his sense of self. Much of this script is a reflection of both Jenkins’ and McCraney’s lives. The setting for the film is the neighborhood where Jenkins grew up in Miami, Florida. But like any great script, it's more than a work of biographical drama: it's full of wisdom and cultural significance.

Before Jenkins set out to write the screenplay, he wrote the adaption of James Baldwin’s novel "If Beale Street Could Talk." Unfortunately, the film was never produced because he didn't own the rights to the novel. Jenkins is also known for writing and directing the independent film "Medicine for Melancholy."

Next up, Jenkins will be writing screenplays for an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s award winning novel "The Underground Railroad" and a film about the American Olympic boxer Claressa Shields.

After you see the film, read the screenplay!