Beasts of the Southern Wild
Directed by Benh Zeitlin
Cornerhouse, 26 October 2012
One of those films, like Death Watch say, that fall under the heading of present day sci-fi (or fantasy, maybe) – and a dazzling instance of it.
She lives feral in a series of makeshift structures does the central character, a young girl called Hushpuppy (played by the amazingly talented Quvenzhané Wallis), and she has a close but troubled relationship with her father. In difficult circumstances they eke out a living – the girl’s mother seems to have deserted them both – and then an almighty storm strikes their isolated and marginalised community. Hushpuppy’s world is altered forever, her very existence is threatened.
Thou, O Lord, hast freed us from the fear of death. Yet we all still wish to live, and this child has a ferocious vitality about her and an extraordinary will to survive. Therefore, the world provides.
Benh Zeitlin has made a brilliant film, which insinuates itself into your own world-view, adding to it (the allusion to Katrina is clear) and modifying it in some measure. It will haunt your imagination for a very long time indeed.