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Beasts of the Southern Wild

  • Drama
  • Action
  • 2012
  • Benh Zeitlin
  • 89 mins
  • 12A

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.

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Review

A star rating of 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.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
HushpuppyQuvenzhané Wallis
WinkDwight Henry
Jean BattisteLevy Easterly
WalrusLowell Landes
Little JoPamela Harper
Miss BathshebaGina Montana
The cookJovan Hathaway

Crew

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DirectorBenh Zeitlin

Details

Theatrical distributor
Studio Canal
Released on
2012-10-19
Languages
English
Guidance
Some violence.
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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