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Film Review: The Light of the Moon (2017)

The Light of the Moon (2017) is an American drama film written, directed, and edited by Jessica M. Thompson. Starring Stephanie Beatriz, this film shows a woman as she experiences sexual assault, and how she has to cope with that in her everyday life following the traumatic experience.

I have recently reviewed 13 Reasons Why Season 2, a show that covers serious issues such as rape. Whilst I do not want to compare both of the media, it is incredible that there are so many shows and films that are starting conversations and opening discussions about these issues. Whilst I still think that 13 Reasons Why is a great show and opens conversations, The Light of the Moon is the most realistic and best portrayal of a the issue of rape I think I have ever seen on screen.

Source: Stedfast Productions

Stephanie Beatriz gives an incredibly gritty yet beautiful performance as Bonnie. Whilst you may know her from the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine (my favourite show of all time), her performance here is so different. This is the role that Stephanie really brings her own personality into, and it just feels so natural. She has to lead and take on a lot of the scenes single-handedly, and you just can’t keep your eyes off from her.

The reason why Stephanie’s performance works so well for this role is down to the story. It isn’t dramatised or fake, this is a simple yet heartbreaking story which really does happen in this day and age. There is no happiness or fantasy dream, this is the crushing story of a girl who gets raped. It really is that harsh and brutal, but it needs to be told.
As well as that, this film highlights a lot of the issues that come afterwards. This film makes you aware of the stigma of victim blaming, by placing Bonnie in a situation where she is judged for what she did before the attack. It also deals with emotions, and how close family and friends deal with the situation around them.

Source: Stedfast Productions
This is all thanks to Jessica M. Thompson, who wrote and directed this film. You could tell that it was a female who told this story, based on how close we got to the main character and the central themes around the entire film. This was also beautifully shot, with each camera shot telling a story. The film is quite short, around 1.5 hours long, but it didn’t need to be long. It knew how long it needed to tell this story, and it did it beautifully.
There are very few flaws in this film, and if I were to point some out, then maybe I would have liked a little more characterisation in a few of the characters, or to see more development between the relationship of Bonnie and her family. Other than that though, this is a stunning independent film that deserves so much recognition. If you liked 13 Reasons Why, you will love this film.


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