Beasts of the Southern Wild

  • 12
  • Benh Zeitlin (2012)
  • US
  • 89 min
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

Premiere. 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 and crew

Cast

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

Crew

Director
Benh Zeitlin

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Studio Canal
Released 19 Oct 2012
Certificate 12
Categories
Drama

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