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THE FORGIVING BLUELynn FongInterspersed in the gentle lapping of ocean waves, a few tensenotes of a violin crescendo as Chiron, the protagonist of BarryJenkins’s film Moonlight, learns to swim. The water is a softturquoise. The camera bobs along with it, pulled up and downand sometimes partially obscured by the waves. We, the audience, areright there with little Chiron as he experiences the waters of Miamifor the first time. Juan, Chiron’s newfound, unlikely mentor, is hold-ing up Chiron’s small head while he teaches him to float. “You’re inthe middle of the world,” Juan tells Chiron. The two are framed onlyby the turquoise water and a light blue sky. Juan demonstrates armmovements: “Go like this,” he instructs, “more athletic.” Chironmimics him as he learns to paddle. Finally, Juan releases Chiron so hecan swim on his own. “Go,” Juan says, and Chiron begins paddling byhimself. Then, Chiron is alone. The music slows and fades away. Heis indeed in the middle of the world as he swims, un...