Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin, is a unique film hard to describe. It follows little traditional structure, blends realism with the reemergence of prehistoric creatures, and shoves a force of nature against a community’s desire to live life on their own turf. It is in many aspects, like a child telling a story- it doesn’t have to be logical, but with raw emotion it is fearless in skipping off the normal path. Viewers won’t know what to expect next, but with the talented Quvenzhané Wallis leading the way as the brave six-year-old Hushpuppy, audiences will be happy to follow.
The little girl Hushpuppy lives in the bayou of Louisiana in a place called, ‘The Bathtub.’ It is filled with a handful of eclectic free people, living to the fullest while having very little. The people of The Bathtub love their land, even knowing that settled beneath the levee, someday it will all disappear underwater.
Hushpuppy lives in a remote section with her father Wink (Dwight Henry). She and her father each have their own small homes, and Hushpuppy makes due fending for herself as her father frequently leaves. On her own Hushpuppy is resourceful, even though she is merely a child and still longs for her mother, who left across the water when Hushpuppy was young.
As the protagonist and narrator, Hushpuppy is very insightful and often comical in her view of the world. She mentions the aurochs, how they were once kings of the world, and if they were still around she wouldn’t even be Hushpuppy, she would just be breakfast.
Her world in flux, Hushpuppy shows her strength, even in the face of her father’s failing health and the coming storm that threatens to take everything in life she knows.
A remarkably different film, it will keep you thinking well after the credits roll. Winner of the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize in the Sundance Film Festival, Beasts of the Southern Wild, is the struggle of a community to keep what’s theirs when all the world’s against them, and the bravery of a little girl, that refuses to be discouraged.
Follow Hushpuppy off the beaten track in Beasts of the Southern Wild, in cinemas now.
Category: Film & TV