Beasts of the Southern Wild

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Beasts of the Southern Wild

Benh Zeitlin (2012)

12A Certificate


Our Score
This marvellous bayou fable has plenty of mythic and cinematic precedents - from The Wizard of Oz to David Gordon Green's George Washington - yet remains resolutely one of a kind. Set at the edge of so-called "civilisation" on the Louisiana levee, it revolves around the relationship between big-hearted but stoic six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) and her gruff, protective father Wink (New Orleans baker Dwight Henry, making his acting debut). They are resiliently happy within their shanty-like Delta community where liquor flows, crayfish is feasted upon and self-sufficiency abides. But storm clouds are gathering: literally, in the shape of an encroaching hurricane, and metaphorically, with Wink's dicky heart and the menace of Hushpuppy's imagined prehistoric beasts. Working on a modest budget and using local talent, first-time feature director Benh Zeitlin impressively juggles elements of magical fantasy with hard-bitten poverty-line realism. This earthy depiction of a life outside of the globalised, technological present may even go so far as to offer a road map for a more modest, local, sustainable future. And, as well as being dramatically and visually engaging, the film conjures a living ecosystem that pulses, grips and ultimately enchants.


A six-year-old girl's father falls ill, and the sickness seems to have a destructive effect on the world around them. As the sea levels rise and prehistoric monsters return to life, the child must go in search of her estranged mother to find a way to restore balance to the natural order of things. Fantasy, starring Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry.

Cast & Crew

Hushpuppy Quvenzhané Wallis
Wink Dwight Henry
Jean Battiste Levy Easterly
Walrus Lowell Landes
Little Jo Pamela Harper
Miss Bathsheba Gina Montana
The cook Jovan Hathaway
Director Benh Zeitlin
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Studio CanalGuidance: Some violence.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 19 Oct 2012