This month’s NEW VOICES EDITION we presented three very different films by three rising-star filmmakers who freshen up familiar genres with their unique sensibilities.
MOONLIGHT, directed by Barry Jenkins, won the Oscar for Best Picture earlier this year. This coming-of-age drama examines three moments in the life of Chiron, a black boy struggling with his identity and sexuality as he grows to adulthood in Miami.
THE RAID, directed by Gareth Evans, is an Indonesian action movie about an elite police squad who find themselves trapped in a crime lord’s high-rise headquarters, and forced to fight their way through 30 stories of nonstop martial-arts mayhem.
BEYOND THE LIGHTS, directed by Gina Prince-Bythwood, is modern romance that follows Noni, a pop superstar who attempts suicide and then rediscovers herself through a relationship with Kaz, the LA cop who helps her off the ledge.
After two tense rounds of voting and a tie-breaking coin toss, we finally watched the winner...
Beyond the Lights
2014 ‧ 1h 56m
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver
FINAL RATING: 7 out of 8 slices
Here’s what the teen audience had to say…
Every PaaM night, we ask our teens to give us their honest reviews of the winning movie. We then select voices that capture the range of opinions and critiques. Read what Marge, Michael and Kimora (The Return PaaMers), Ryan (The Newbie), Madison (Reigning PaaM Reviewer), thought about this modern day love story.
Choose three words to describe this movie.
Marge: CLICHE, PREDICTABLE, FAIRY TALE ENDING
Michael: INSPIRATIONAL, FUNNY, BEAUTIFUL
Kimora: PRETTY! DAMN! GOOD!
Madison: INTENSE, PERSONALITY-REVEALING (not a word??), UGLY TRUTH
Ryan: SENSUALIZED, UNREALISTIC, INTERESTING
What was your favorite scene? Bonus: Why? SPOILER ALERT!
Marge: My favorite scene was the part where Noni held onto the officer after she fell because that was a turning point in her life.
Michael: When Noni finally rids herself of the false “Noni” and let the real “Noni” show herself.
Kimora: The bed scene in Mexico was my favorite because I thought it was a a comparison to the way Noni was treated by Kid (the rapper) during their BET Awards performance. Kaz treated her like a lady <3
Madison: My favorite scene was when Noni cut the weave out her hair because that was the moment where she changed from being the Noni whose life was in somebody’s else’s hands to the Noni who was in charge of herself.
Ryan: My favorite scene was when Noni sang Blackbird in Mexico for karaoke because it got me slightly emotional.
Would you recommend this to a friend? Why or why not?
Marge: I wouldn’t recommend this to a friend because most problems wouldn’t usually be solved this way.
Michael: Yes, because it teaches that no one should subject themselves to a false persona fabricated by others.
Kimora: Sure, why not! 🙂
Madison: Yes, I think its really cool how it reveals how female artists are actually treated and viewed in the music business.
Ryan: I would recommend Pizza and a Movie night because its a nice activity to try with friends.
Join us for the next FREE Pizza and a Movie!
FRIDAY, MAY 5TH
How to RSVP for Pizza and a Movie Night:
Seating is limited, so you must lay claim to your seat & slice by selecting “Free Ticket- RSVP HERE” on the Pizza and a Movie event page at https://teens.artsconnection.org/paam/ Fill in your information and you will receive a reminder email the day before the event. Please let us know exactly how many people you’ll be bringing. If you have any questions, feel free to email Briana, Teen Programs Assistant at
PLEASE NOTE: This is a TEENS ONLY event.