Film Review: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

"A heart-wrenching story about a father and daughter living in a remote bayou, that is real and at the same time enchanting. I loved everything about it" ...Naomi Rossdeutscher

(Quvenzhzé Wallis) Frame grab from opening fireworks sequence. By Ben Richardson. Cinereach Ltd

Six year-old Hushpuppy and her passionate, alcoholic father, Wink, live a challenging, precarious life in a remote bayou community. The fringe-dwellers have turned their back on civilization so they can live free, but now a hurricane and the government threaten them. So when Hushpuppy discovers Wink is critically ill, the natural order of her life shatters and she imagines pre-historic beasts will re-claim the earth.

If you crave a poetic, powerful film that depicts human resilience, then Beasts of the Southern Wild will be absolute bliss for you. The story is heart wrenching and tender, with moments of hilarity. It’s told with emotional authenticity, from a child’s perspective, using symbolism and imaginative fantasy scenes to strengthen the story and suspense.

6-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis plays Hushpuppy, a gorgeous, naturally talented girl, cast from an Elementary School. Dwight Henry, a Baker by trade, plays her father, Wink. Neither of them had any previous experience acting but they were both exceptional.

Director and co-writer Benh Zeitlin, is part of a film co-operative in New Orleans called Court 13. He made The Beasts of the Southern Wild in southern Louisiana and it was based on a one-act stage play, Juicy and Delicious, written by his friend Lucy Alibar. 

The rich and turbulent imagery was shot on super 16mm camera by cinematographer Ben Richardson and the stunning score was co-created by Benh Zeitlin and composer Dan Romer.

I highly recommend seeking out this exhilarating and inventive film.

FACTS...

Shot on:  Super 16mm and RED Exhibited on HDCam

Based on the stage play Juicy and Delicious written by Lucy Alibar

A FEW OF THE FILM MAKERS...

Director:  Benh Zeitlin

Screenwriters:  Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin

Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry                                                     

Producers:  Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Josh Penn                 

Executive Producers:  Philipp Engelhorn, Paul Mezey, Michael Raisler