Why Barry Jenkins Felt ‘Bittersweet’ About Moonlight’s Oscar Nominations

It didn’t take long for the depressing historical significance of his triple nomination to sink in for Barry Jenkins. In an interview with TIME from the same month that the Oscars took place, Jenkins reflected on the difficult position of being a “first,” saying, “It’s bittersweet. I shouldn’t be the first. I’ll be happy when there’s no longer any space for firsts because it’ll mean those things have been done.”

Jenkins was the first Black filmmaker to earn the specific combination of Best Picture, Screenwriting, and Directing nominations. Before him came such legends as John Singleton, who earned a Directing nomination for “Boyz in the Hood” in 1991, Oprah Winfrey, who earned a Best Picture nomination for her producing work on 2014’s “Selma,” and the towering figure in film history who Jenkins mentions by name — Spike Lee. “I wouldn’t be the first person who’s merited this distinction,” Jenkins acknowledged, adding: “I don’t understand how someone like Spike Lee has never been nominated for these three awards.”

The way that canon-makers and quality minters have made filmmakers of color work twice as hard, campaign twice as much, and turn in films that, frankly, are often at least twice as good as some of the slop that qualifies for “excellence” is shameful. Jenkins is right to be uneasy about his inclusion within an institution that has harbored, if not outright disdain, then scornful indifference toward the contributions of Black artists within the film industry. That’s why he puts the onus on the Academy to improve. “It’s important to note that the barrier is not mine to break,” he told TIME. “I made a piece of work. The barrier does not fall to me. The barrier belongs to the Academy.”

Watch Avatar 2 The Way of Water Full Movie

Avatar The Way of Water Full Movie Free Download

Leave a Comment