Being black, bullied and struggling with sexuality are the driving themes throughout the three persuasive chapters into which the story is divided.  Played successively by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes, Chiron has to deal with school bullies and a crack-addicted mother (Naomie Harris).  He is befriended by charismatic drug-dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali), who becomes his role model and teaches him valuable survival skills.