Like Villaronga’s previous film In a Glass Cage (1987), Moon Child is an aesthetically-splendid work that, despite its stark story, brings solace to the eyes and harmony to the ears. For fans of Dead Can Dance, Moon Child is also quite the rare treat as the ineffable score composed by the music duo was done specifically for the film, thus, the only way to hear it is by watching this unfortunately scarce and mostly magical motion picture. Moon Child is certainly the best and most fitting marriage between avant-garde filmmaker and musical group since the collaboration between Derek Jarman and post-industrial group Coil for The Angelic Conversation (1985). Like the music of Dead Can Dance, Moon Child transports the viewer to various mysterious and nonexistent thaumaturgic lands and sparks emotions that range from delightful dread to indescribable splendor. Thankfully, the storyline of Moon Child is for the most part in tune with the aesthetic qualities of the film. Although, the plot of Moon Child may seem rather incoherent at times, this seemingly glaring flaw inevitably adds to the already persuasive mystique and intrigue of the film. Needless to say, Moon Child becomes more potent upon subsequent viewings. If any cinematic work manages to mix thematic and aesthetic elements of Nicholas Roeg’s Walkabout (1971) and The Witches (1990) and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Moon Child is surely that seemingly unreal and otherworldly film. All of the actors featured in Moon Child, including the one who played David, also deserve praise for their talents. I must admit that I find most child actors nothing short of deplorable and ultimately unbelievable, but Enrique Saldana (the boy who plays David) is certainly convincing as a daunted yet daring child who is totally devoted to fulfilling a metaphysical mission that he has trouble verbally articulating. Despite her lack of acting experience, lovely Lisa Gerrard – who is indubitably a modern Renaissance woman – brings a strong performance to Moon Child that is an imperative to the believability of the film. In what is probably the most memorable scene in the film, Ms. Gerrard goes from being in a state of bewilderment as she lays naked on a cold, sterile metal ritual bed; to a mood of total ecstasy as she makes love with her seedman; to a position of total terror as a couple occult members takeaway her lover and surgically pick at her freshly soiled vagina in a most crude and calculating quasi-scientific fashion.
John Waters’ once remarked regarding Villaronga’s In a Glass Cage, “(it) is a great film, but I'm too scared to show it to my friends.” Moon Child is not a film one should fear showing to one's friends, but it most certainly has the capacity to stupefy both small children and Quention Tarantino fans alike. If you’re one of those many individuals who found themselves slightly disturbed by films like Wolfgang Peterson’s The NeverEnding Story (1984) and Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth (1986) as a young and naive child, Moon Child is probably one of a handful of films that can potentially help you recapture those youthful emotions of partially petrified nostalgia. Like In a Glass Cage, Moon Child is a film that neglects to follow the gospel of the Hollywood studio system, as it is a work that is certainly not cognizant of the taboos of political correctness. I am sure that had Moon Child been produced within the strict, authoritarian socio-political confines of a typical Hollywood studio production, the Moon Child would have been a starving and saintly Ethiopian boy who is on a journey to central Europe (with the help of a good liberal white couple, nonetheless) to fulfill an ancient Germanic prophecy for peaceful world unity. Politically incorrect or not, Moon Child is certainly a rare work of 'World-Class Cinema', as the film manages to swimmingly cross both cultural and country barriers (whether they be real or not as none of the locations, aside from the continents, are mentioned in the film). Of course, most important of all, Moon Child is a flavorsome flick that manages to activate the imagination of the most bitter, skeptical, and misanthropic of viewers (myself included), and for that reason alone, it is a must-see film.