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February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the triumphs along the path toward racial equality and also examine the significant challenges that we Americans still face today. One of the best ways to explore the many facets of Black History Month is through film. Film has the power to both inform and transport, allowing us to tap into the emotions behind a historical event or gain greater insight into modern-day issues. For film-lovers, no other medium is quite as impactful or moving.  











moonlightMoonlight (available from HCPL on Blu-ray or via Kanopy) is a beautiful coming-of-age story that explores the main character's development through three stages of his life--childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. It won big at the 2017 Academy Awards, taking three categories -- Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film also won a Golden Globe for Best Drama.   

Deeply compassionate and personal, Moonlight is a triumph in storytelling. David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter stated that the film "will strike plangent chords for anyone who has ever struggled with identity, or to find connections in a lonely world".
Described as a "breathtaking film" by the New York Times, viewers should be aware that the film deals with heavy-hitting issues like mass incarceration, drug abuse, and school violence. It takes an unflinchingly realistic look at American life in a deeply poetic manner. 

One of the newest films in Black cinema, Miss Juneteenthmiss-juneteenth, was added to the Kanopy collection recently and is based in our home state of Texas!  Miss Juneteenth tells the story of a Fort Worth-based single mother and former beauty queen who enters her daughter in the local Miss Juneteenth pageant. The film received critical acclaim, including accolades at the South by Southwest film festival, the BlackStar Film Festival, and the National Board of Review

Black history is American history. February is the month in which we examine this very important aspect of the American experience. Take advantage of the wonderful resources that the Harris County Public Library provides to examine these and other topics through the medium of film. Kanopy adds new films to its collection all the time, so check it out!












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