Originating from a play by Lucy Alibar about a boy who feels as though the world is collapsing as his father is dying, Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild is narrated by Hushpuppy, a 6-year-old girl played with warrior spirit by Quvenzhané Wallis, who was chosen from over 4,000 competitors for the central role.
Shot on 16mm around Montegut, Louisiana, and set in a fictional bayou community called Bathtub, where proud locals fiercely defend their right to live in the wetlands viewed by outsiders as uninhabitable, the film is innovative both in content and technique. Following a storm which destroys the ramshackle dwellings where the community lives, Hushpuppy realizes the importance of learning the survival skills her ailing yet impassioned father Wink is desperate to teach her.
A rites of passage story which infuses fact with fantasy, this affecting and often startling production offers new perspectives on what it means to be a marginalised community, independent from the mainstream. (Notes of Alice Butler.)
'Stunning… Every frame buzzes with the desire to amaze, dazzle and excite' The Irish Times (5 STARS )
'Breathtaking and epic. Go and marvel.' The Sunday Times Culture
'Sometimes miraculous films come into being… A remarkable creation… one of the year’s best films' Roger Ebert