Beasts of the Southern Wild

11 September 2012 Film

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) lives with her hard-drinking father, Wink (Dwight Henry), in the Bathtub, a fictional bayou region of southern Louisiana. The character of Bathtub’s inhabitants is forged by a natural world that destroys as readily as it creates: they are fierce, resilient, spontaneous and wild. After a hurricane the Bathtub becomes submerged, but its residents are determined to stay put. This is a community on the edge of the world economically and physically, and the inhabitants understand that their existence is but a speck in a larger design. Many will read this as a film about climate change and natural disaster, but this tale’s concerns are much more elementary – bravery, loyalty, family, survival – with Hushpuppy an all-American hero to rival Huck Finn. On a shoestring budget, debut director Benh Zeitlin has created an epic that captures the hardness, grace, magic and raucous joy of the Deep South. Not to be missed.

Rebecca Harkins-Cross

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