Good Read: Behind The Best Food Moment In A Movie This Year

Bon Appétit's Julia Bainbridge speaks to the director of 'Moonlight' about that diner scene.

December 21, 2016 ● 1 min read

On our radar this morning: a dissection of a minute-long scene in this year's Moonlighta film that just scooped up a half dozen Golden Globe nominations. Bon Appétit's Julia Bainbridge spoke with director Barry Jenkins about the impulses behind a pivotal scene in which one character prepares arroz con pollo for another. 

Moonlight unfolds in Reagan-era Miami and tells the story of Chiron, a young African American man grappling with his own sexuality and struggling to understand himself in the aftermath of a dysfunctional upbringing. The film — gritty and lovely and poetic, reveling in small moments with an insane magnetism — blew critics away when it arrived in October, and prompted The New York Times's A.O. Scott to perfectly encapsulate it this way: "Perhaps the most beautiful thing about Moonlight is its open-endedness, its resistance to easy summary or categorization." 

One of those beautiful things was a scene that takes place in a diner, where Chiron goes to visit his childhood friend, Kevin, a chef. We're in agreement with Bainbridge: the reverence of the moment nails exactly what is so powerful about cooking for someone in the first place. 

“It felt like the gesture was charged in some way [...] Something special was happening: Kevin was deliberately preparing this thing out of love. Plus, I’ve never seen a black man cook for another black man in a film or television or any kind of media.” — Barry Jenkins, director

Read the full piece here

Photo by David Bornfriend, courtesy of A24