Analysis On A Movie: Moonlight (2016) Sample Assignment

Moonlight (2016) is a powerful Oscar-winning drama film about identity, family, and self-discovery. The movie is directed by Barry Jenkins and is based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In Moonlight; Black Boys Look Blue, which recounts the lives of Chiron, an African American child growing up in a seedy Miami neighborhood. As Chiron navigates his way through adolescence, he learns to manage his difficult home life and his sexuality while finding out who he is and what he wants in life (The Take, min 2:01-min2:46). Through its stunning cinematography, thoughtful writing, and powerful performances, Moonlight offers a nuanced and in-depth look into the lives of people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community. This film is an actual example of how race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic class intersect in our society and how these intersections can shape a person’s identity.

One of the most critical themes in Moonlight is the representation of race. Chiron is an African American boy growing up in a predominantly black Miami neighborhood plagued by poverty and violence (The Take, min 6:31). Through Chiron’s story, director Barry Jenkins illustrates how race can shape a person’s experiences and identity. As Chiron struggles to come to terms with his sexuality, he is constantly reminded by his peers that he is different and that he belongs to a particular group. He is also harassed and bullied by those who see him as a threat to the status quo (The Take, min 3:26). This is an essential reminder that racism is still alive and well in our society and can profoundly affect people’s lives. (Ann, n.pp) “The movie is about a young black man, but it speaks to the universality of that experience, of the way that racism, poverty, and violence constrain and shape lives.”

Moonlight is also a powerful exploration of identity and the power of self-acceptance. As Chiron grows older, he has to confront his feelings and the expectations of those around him. Through his journey, we get a glimpse of how our society can be cruel and unforgiving to those who are different. It is a testament to Jenkins’ skill as a filmmaker that Moonlight can create such a powerful, emotional experience. “The film is a triumph. It’s a searingly powerful, intensely felt drama that lingers in the memory.” (Bradshaw, Moonlight is a must-see for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of race, identity, and acceptance.

The representation of gender in Moonlight is also noteworthy. Chiron is an African American male, and the film does not shy away from exploring his experiences as a young man. Throughout the film, Chiron is presented with challenges as he struggles to find his place in the world. He is often forced to confront his masculinity and his sexuality and is met with both acceptance and rejection. It serves as a reminder of how gender intersects with other aspects of a person’s identity and how it can be challenging to navigate these different aspects.

The representation of LGBTQ characters in Moonlight is significant. Writing for Variety, Peter Debruge noted that the film ‘skillfully employs subtle visual storytelling to introduce Chiron’s homosexuality without ever explicitly labeling him.’ Chiron’s sexuality is not explicitly stated in the movie but is suggested through his interactions with other characters, clothing choices, and body language. Through these subtle cues, director Barry Jenkins conveys Chiron’s struggles to hide his true identity to fit into society. The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday praised the film for its ‘nuanced and sensitive’ portrayal of sexuality, noting that it accomplishes with tenderness, wit, and insight what so many films have tried and failed to do in terms of representing the broad spectrum of human sexuality.’ Moonlight offers a nuanced view of LGBTQ identity that challenges traditional stereotypes. It is an important reminder of the struggles faced by LGBTQ individuals who are often forced to hide their identities to fit into society. As Hornaday wrote, Moonlight ‘invites audiences to understand, accept and embrace the diverse spectrums of sexual identity.’

Moonlight explores the intersection of race, gender, and socioeconomic class through the story of Chiron, a young black man from a low-income family living in a rough Miami neighborhood. His family struggles to make ends meet, and his environment is filled with poverty and crime (The Take, min 4:25). Chiron is constantly reminded of his limited options and challenges in achieving a better life. He is also subjected to bullying and discrimination, further compounding his difficulties. Despite these obstacles, however, Chiron has moments of hope and potential. He is offered a scholarship to a prestigious college and is provided with the opportunity to escape his circumstances and make something of his life.

This illustrates how poverty can profoundly affect a person’s life and how it can be difficult to escape the cycle of poverty. It also highlights the importance of having access to resources, such as education, that can reduce poverty. At the same time, the film also offers a message of hope, showing that it is possible to overcome poverty and achieve success with hard work and determination. Through this, Moonlight conveys the idea that everyone should have access to the same opportunities and that everyone should have the chance to succeed regardless of their background or circumstances.

The performances in Moonlight are remarkable, making the movie an instant classic. Mahershala Ali gives a stunning performance as Chiron’s mentor, Juan, that won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (Oscars, min 1:57-6:23). He conveys the complexities of Juan’s character with such nuance and depth that it is impossible not to be moved by his performance. Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, and Ashton Sanders each give unforgettable performances as the three stages of Chiron’s life. Through their performances, we can see the struggles, triumphs, and joys of Chiron’s life and Juan’s impact on him.

The cinematography in Moonlight is also stunning. Director Barry Jenkins skillfully uses lighting to evoke the characters’ emotions and create isolation, making the movie even more powerful and affecting. The camera’s movement adds to the atmosphere as it often follows the characters and weaves in and out of scenes (The Take, min 3:11). The use of color is also noteworthy as Jenkins often uses blues, blacks, and greys to convey sadness and desolation. In contrast, the use of yellows, oranges, and reds conveys warmth and joy (The Take, min 9:33).

Work Cited

A.O. Scott, “Movie Review: ‘Moonlight’ Takes a Poetic Look at a Young Man’s Struggles,” The New York Times, October 21, 2016.

Debruge, P. (2016, October 21). Review: ‘Moonlight’ Is a Gently Radical Portrait of Queer Black Life. Variety.

Hornaday, A. (2016, October 20). ‘Moonlight’ is a gentle, powerful story of identity and love—the Washington Post.

Oscars. “Moonlight” wins Best Picture | 89th Oscars (2017).” YouTube, 2017,

Peter Bradshaw, “Moonlight review – a searingly powerful, intensely felt drama that lingers in the memory,” The Guardian, October 24, 2016.

The Take. “Moonlight Explained: Symbols, Camera & More.” YouTube, 26 Feb. 2017,

Anti-Racism In Social Work Essay Example


Racism is a serious social issue. It is always practiced on an individual basis or an institutional basis. Institutional racism refers to the act of an organization racially abusing an individual. Institutional racism is also known as structural racism (Dorobanțu-Dina, 2021). Institutional racism is caused by the inequality experienced in engagement in institutions in the country. It is mostly called built-in racism. Individual racism is the most reported form of racism. Social workers have the responsibility of ending racism. Handling racism at a micro level entails reflecting on personal biases and working towards unlearning them (Edwards, 2020). On the other hand, handling racism at a macro level entails using influence and government agencies to come up with policies that will end racism.

Micro Approach


The engagement phase at a micro level will involve discussing and listening carefully to the client’s issues. It is good to give the client eye contact and also use silence when necessary (Dorobanțu-Dina, 2021). It is good to use silence since some cases are usually very touching. Then there is also a need to orient the client to the help services. That involves completing the available paperwork.


The assessment stage will involve understanding the issues and what causes them. At a micro level, it will be important to ask the client what they think when the term racism flashes into their minds. It is also important to understand the role that they played in the situation where the racial remarks took place. It is also good to make the client understand what different decisions they can make so as not to be affected the moment people pass racially divisive remarks to them. A reflection of the values they were taught and those that have shaped them over time will also help the client manage racism. The assessment is needed to help the client reflect on personal biases.


The planning process will involve coming up with ways through which the client will be supported to understand their emotions. The social worker will plan how intervention skills will be taught. Coping skills will also be planned to ensure that the client effectively copes with their personal experience (Dorobanțu-Dina, 2021). The social worker will also work towards understanding the level of intervention for each need. That will offer the right way through which the need will be assessed. The social worker will also establish the goals that need to be met to ensure that the client’s personal experience has been improved.


The implementation process will involve the social worker following the plan and ensuring that the client’s personal development is achieved. It will entail having different sessions with the client where they will be informed of the cope with incidences of racism. Cultural and emotional intelligence will also be taught to the client. Teaching emotional intelligence is important to help clients understand how to shift their emotions when facing racism. Cultural intelligence will also help the clients understand how they need to associate with other cultures to better their experience.


In this case, the evaluation criteria that the social workers need to use is goal attainment scaling. Goal attainment scaling involves assessing the goals that have been put for the client to achieve and the extent to which the client will achieve such goals. The social workers can also use a client satisfaction questionnaire to find out from the client how the sessions have been of benefit to them.


The termination of the process will be facilitated if the client has gained some good levels of personal development. That will entirely depend on the results collected from the evaluation. If the client has gained some good form of emotional and cultural development, then there will be a need to terminate the sessions. It is good to ensure that the clients have effectively understood their emotions before the sessions can be terminated.


Follow-ups will be made to assess how the client is coping. The follow-ups will involve assessing the status of the client from the referrals that have been made.

Macro Level


The engagement stage of handling racism at the macro level entails reaching out to government agencies on the policies that have been made to curb racism. The social worker will ensure that racism is well-tackled at the government level (Dorobanțu-Dina, 2021). the social worker will also engage with other like-minded agencies to check on the policies they can push for that will help tackle racism. The social worker can also engage coalition groups to draft petitions and support legislation that is aimed at making racism a thing of the past.


The assessment phase will involve the social worker understanding what causes racism at an institutional level and the right way to approach it. The social worker will go through legislation that already exists that seeks to end racism. They will also check on the potential policies that can be implemented, which will bring about desirable changes. That is needed to ensure that viable results are achieved. The social worker also needs to understand how people interact in society and how some interactions can easily promote racism. It is through a deeper analysis that sufficient changes will be made.


The planning phase at a micro level should entail the social workers evaluating the level of intervention for each policy. They will assess all the stages of coming up with policies and write down what they need to do to ensure that the policies are coming to exist. The social worker should work with other agencies and like-minded organizations to ensure that it comes to pass (Murray-Lichtman & Elkassem, 2021). Establishing the goals that will need to be achieved is also necessary. Those are the goals that will guide the implementation process. Specifying the actions and steps to achieve the goals is also important in the planning phase. The action steps include physically visiting the government offices to ensure that the anti-racism policies are still being given enough consideration.


The implementation phase involves the social worker following the laid down procedures on how policies should be passed. The social worker will work with the government and likeminded agencies to ensure that the policies are being passed. The social worker will also monitor the progress of justice in case many people have fallen victim to racial abuse. The plan will also be revised when the goal is not appropriately achieved. The implementation of the policies will help reduce the rates of racial abuse in society.


The evaluation uses goal attainment scaling. The success of the process revolves around the establishment of policies that are directed toward ending racism. The project would have been a success if the policies had been established and published to the general public. Goal attainment scaling will entail taking into action the plan that was set and the progress made to make it a reality.


Follow-ups will be made in society to find out the rates of racial abuse that are still being reported. A decrease in the rates of racial abuse will indicate that the policies have been working. In case the rates of racial abuse do not reduce, then new policies would have to be created. That will see the process start all over again.


Edwards, M. (2020). Social Work Practice (SW4001) Syllabus.

Murray-Lichtman, A., & Elkassem, S. (2021). Academic voyeurism: The white gaze in social work. Canadian Social Work Review38(2), 179-205.

Dorobanțu-Dina, R. (2021). Intercultural Competence-Way to Solve the Problems of Today’s World. Eastern European Journal for Regional Studies (EEJRS)7(2), 142-164.

Applying Ethics And Cultural Competence Essay Example

Ethics and cultural competence are two crucial concepts in social work. Applying these concepts in a social work setting can help create a safe and healthy environment for providers and clients. This section of the paper will explore how I would apply ethics concepts to my program evaluation design in unit 4, documenting potential ethical risks in the program evaluation designs, including those actions I would take to ensure I am upholding the principles of research ethics.

When creating a logical model of a social work program to eliminate poverty and income inequity, it is important to apply ethical principles throughout the process. Ethics are essential to ensure that the program’s goals, objectives, activities, and outcomes are carried out ethically and responsibly. According to Grinnell et al., 2023, some important ethical considerations include: ensuring the informed consent of participants in the program, protecting the confidentiality of participants, being mindful of potential power differentials between those being served by the program and those involved in the program evaluation, avoiding any potential conflicts of interest and ensuring that the program does not discriminate against specific individuals or groups.

The principles of research ethics must be adhered to to ensure the safety and security of all participants. According to Grinnell et al., 2016, these principles include respect for autonomy, justice, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and fidelity. Respect for autonomy involves allowing participants to make decisions about their participation in the program. Justice dictates that participants should be treated equally and have access to the same resources. Beneficence and nonmaleficence demand that researchers act in the participants’ best interests, while fidelity requires researchers to be honest and truthful with participants.

When evaluating a social work program, it is essential to consider the potential ethical risks involved in the program evaluation design. In this case, the program targets a specific population, specifically low-income families and individuals. When creating a logical model of a social work program to eliminate poverty and income inequity, several potential ethical risks must be considered. First, it is vital to ensure that all participants in the program are treated fairly and ethically. This includes protecting their privacy, protecting them from harm, obtaining informed consent, and avoiding exploitation (Farrugia, 2019). It is also essential to ensure that the data collected during program evaluation is reliable and accurate. Additionally, it is crucial to provide full disclosure regarding the purpose of the program and any potential risks or benefits. Finally, it is essential to protect vulnerable populations by ensuring that any interventions are conducted safely and respectfully.

It is important to conduct ethical reviews to ensure that ethical considerations are considered when designing and evaluating a social work program. Ethical reviews involve carefully examining the research design and objectives of the program to ensure they do not violate any ethical principles or create any potential risks. It is also important to develop and implement informed consent processes for participants and adequately train staff members conducting the program evaluation.

In conclusion, by applying ethics concepts to program evaluation, social workers can ensure that programs are designed and implemented ethically, leading to more successful outcomes for all participants. By understanding and following the principles of research ethics, social workers can ensure that their programs are designed and evaluated safely and responsibly.

In order to ensure that the program evaluation design is culturally competent, it is important to consider cultural differences when creating the program and assessing the outcomes. Cultural competence means being aware of the impact of culture on behavior and providing services that are sensitive to these cultural values (Grinnell et al., 2016). This includes considering the language, communication style, and values of the population the program serves. For example, when selecting activities for the program, such as job training, resume-writing workshops, and financial literacy classes, social workers should select activities that are accessible to the target population and incorporate their cultural values. Additionally, when assessing the program’s outcomes, social workers should use valid and reliable measures for the target population that can be applied in a culturally-sensitive manner.

Moreover, to become more culturally competent, social workers must know and understand the cultural context in which the program is being developed and implemented. This means being aware of potential power dynamics between individuals and groups within the population that is being served by the program. Additionally, cultural competence involves developing respectful relationships with individuals and groups based on understanding their cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and values (Forsyth et al., 2020). Additionally, social workers need to be open-minded and willing to learn about different cultures to become more culturally competent. They should also strive to create a safe space for clients from all backgrounds to feel comfortable discussing their needs.

In conclusion, cultural competence is an important component of effective program evaluation. In order to create a socially conscious program that accurately reflects the population it serves, social workers should consider cultural differences throughout the entire process, from goal setting to implementation to assessment. By doing so, social workers can ensure that their program evaluations are culturally competent and result in positive outcomes.


Farrugia, L. (2019). WASP (Write a Scientific Paper): The ongoing process of ethical decision-making in qualitative research: Ethical principles and their application to the research process. Early human developmentpp. 133, 48–51.

Forsyth, C., Short, S., Gilroy, J., Tennant, M., & Irving, M. (2020). An Indigenous cultural competence model for dentistry education. British Dental Journal228(9), 719–725.

Grinnell, R. M., Gabor, P., & Unrau, Y. A. (Eds.). (2016). Program evaluation for social workers: Foundations of evidence-based programs. Oxford University P