6 to 8 page research essay on LGBTQ/race film English 102

Structure and content

Your 6-8 page paper, written entirely in the third person, should be structured thus:


identifies the film and its year of release;
provides an original (i.e., your own words) overview of the film’s plot (up to two sentences);
identifies what you have determined to be the relevant theme you will analyze and explains how the film treats the theme;
identifies relevant real world events during the period of the film’s release;
ends with a thesis asserting how the film’s relevant theme relates to these real world events.
Body, part 1 (maximum 2 paragraphs):

an explanation of what contemporary reviews say about the film in terms of its LGBTQ+ representations;
a transitional statement assessing the degree to which the reviews align with your interpretation of how the film depicts LGBTQ+ themes (avoid using the first person);
an analysis of one specific scene that demonstrates how the scene supports what you claim about the film’s treatment of the theme.
Body, part 2 (3 to 5 pages):

a transitional statement connecting the film portrayal to contemporary events;
a number of paragraphs aggregating the reportage of at least one and no more than two relevant ongoing historical events of the period of the film’s release. This section consists of your evaluation and summary of primary popular sources in the form of news reports, editorials, and letters to the editor. (Be sure to include clear attributions that make the sources easy to cross-reference with the list of works cited.) These sources must be located using library databases and should number in the dozens. You should aim for roughly 33% to 50% of the primary sources coming from the New York Times. This part gives little or no attention directly to the film plot.

A final section that reconnects the events and the film and explains how the primary sources add to the understanding of the context of your chosen film. Do not summarize the articles again here, but do address how the events illuminate the historical period.



Sample Answer

Sample Answer



The Impact of LGBTQ+ Representation in Race Films on Real World Events


The film “Moonlight,” released in 2016, delves into the life of a young black man named Chiron as he navigates his sexuality and identity in a rough Miami neighborhood. The film’s central theme of self-discovery and acceptance is crucial as it portrays the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly those belonging to marginalized racial groups. Against the backdrop of the film’s release, issues of racial discrimination, police brutality, and LGBTQ+ rights were at the forefront of societal discussions. This essay aims to explore how “Moonlight” intertwines its LGBTQ+ themes with the real-world events of its time, shedding light on the interconnectedness of cinema and society.

Body, Part 1:

Contemporary reviews of “Moonlight” laud the film for its sensitive portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters and the challenges they encounter. Critics often highlight the raw emotional depth of the characters and the authenticity of their experiences, praising the film for breaking stereotypes and offering a nuanced perspective on intersectionality. However, while some reviews focus solely on the LGBTQ+ representation in the film, others delve into its exploration of race, masculinity, and socioeconomic factors. This analysis will examine how a specific scene in “Moonlight,” where Chiron confronts his mother about her drug addiction, underscores the complexities of his identity and relationships, further supporting the film’s treatment of LGBTQ+ themes.

Body, Part 2:

Transitioning from the film’s portrayal to contemporary events, it is essential to contextualize the societal landscape during “Moonlight’s” release. The years leading up to 2016 witnessed significant movements such as Black Lives Matter advocating against racial injustice and discrimination. Police violence against black individuals sparked outrage and protests across the country, highlighting systemic racism and inequality. Furthermore, LGBTQ+ rights were also a focal point, with debates surrounding marriage equality, transgender rights, and workplace discrimination gaining momentum. By examining primary sources from reputable outlets like The New York Times, one can delve into the public discourse, editorials, and letters to the editor that captured the essence of these transformative times.


In conclusion, analyzing “Moonlight” through the lens of LGBTQ+ representation in race films provides a deeper understanding of how cinema reflects and influences societal norms. By intertwining the film’s narrative with real-world events, one can appreciate the intricacies of identity politics, discrimination, and resilience within marginalized communities. The primary sources from the period of the film’s release serve as a historical archive that enriches our comprehension of the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals of color. Ultimately, “Moonlight” stands as a testament to the power of storytelling in fostering empathy, understanding, and social change in an ever-evolving world.





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