Beasts of the Southern Wild

  • 12
  • Benh Zeitlin (2012)
  • US
  • 89 min
× Sky+ customers can now set up recordings and download directly to their Sky+ box using this button.
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

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.

Plot Summary

Drama starring Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry. In the Louisiana bayou, a six-year-old girl and her father find their lives thrown into turmoil when he falls sick and a storm devastates their home and community.

Cast and crew


Quvenzhané Wallis
Dwight Henry
Jean Battiste
Levy Easterly
Lowell Landes
Little Jo
Pamela Harper
Miss Bathsheba
Gina Montana
The cook
Jovan Hathaway


Benh Zeitlin

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Studio Canal
Some violence.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 19 Oct 2012
Certificate 12
Studio Canal