Beyond Patricio Guzmán's platitudes about the life-creating affirmations to be found in water and the stars, and some ugly reiterations of ugly contemporary documentary modes (beginning with the editing and the way music is used), The Pearl Button is a superior film to the much-lauded Nostalgia for The Light (2010). From what I remember, the latter film is akin to emotional exploitation that reaches its most irresponsible point in one sequence. It occurs when Guzmán makes the mothers and widows…
There's healthy masculinity and toxic masculinity. Moonlight becomes a film of interesting layers if it is interpreted as a criticism and inversion of the latter through its referents to gangsta rap (and since we're in the realm of cinema, also the blaxploitation movie and its influence on that music genre). Needless to say, the music in the film's soundtrack is extremely important, both as plot synopsis and character set up.