Beasts of the Southern Wild
Beasts of the Southern WildOriginal Title: Beasts of the Southern Wild
Director: Benh Zeitlin
USA | English
One of the most fiercely original American films in years, Beasts of the Southern Wild
is a strange and magical hybrid of indie coming-of-age story, folk mythmaking, fantasy and postmodern environmental cautionary tale. It tells the story of Hushpuppy, a courageous six-year-old girl who lives with her father, Wink, in the Bathtub, a bayou community perched seemingly at the edge of the world, where residents are cut off from civilisation by a sprawling
levee. When temperatures rise, ice caps melt and a savage storm (a fictional analogue of the tragic Hurricane Katrina) lashes the Bathtub, an army of prehistoric monsters run rampant.
Amidst the ensuing calamity and her father’s failing health, Hushpuppy goes in search of her long-lost mother, desperately trying to make sense of the apocalypse that seems to be mushrooming all around her.
Benh Zeitlin (whose award-winning short Glory at Sea
screened at ADFF in 2009) has seen his first feature take the film-festival circuit by storm, winning top prizes at Sundance and Cannes, and rapidly become a smash hit in theaters around the United States with early Oscar buzz. The brilliant cast is comprised of non-actors; the performance by six-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy will be long remembered as one of the most astonishing performances by a child ever put on screen. Her fierce determination and indomitable spirit become an impassioned rallying cry to stand tall against the forces of nature and ensure that her story is known to the world.
– Jim Browne