Beasts of the Southern Wild

There are some films which open you up to an entire way of life you’d never even thought about. Adapted from the short play Juicy and Delicious, Beasts of the Southern Wild is the story of a small child, Hushpuppy, who lives in a waterlogged, out-of-bounds isle in the American South with her ailing father Wink and a collection of lawless, hand-to-mouth bohemians who have all chosen to live outside the crumbling levee that separates them from mainland society. As a Katrina-like hurricane approaches, the residents try to defend themselves against the onslaught and Hushpuppy reluctantly comes to terms with her father’s illness. As he prepares for the end, she goes on a quest, leading her friends on a journey to find the mythical creatures she dreams about and maybe even her beautiful, long-gone mother. The film is lit up by a tour de force central performance by Quvenzhane Wallis, cast at only five years old, who brings a rawness and emotional openness to the role; she’s a small force of nature, defiantly female but tomboyish, burping, screaming and flexing her tiny ‘guns’ for the amusement of her father’s friends, and learning about herbs and magic from her female 'schoolteacher'; finally standing alone and self-sufficient, you have no doubt in her ability to become a fully realised adult and pick up the pieces once the storm is over.


A touching film

A touching film about childhood and resilience. Heartbreaking and magical, a great entry to the Empathy  Library.

Average: 5 (1 vote)
nh Zeitl
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