Beasts of the Southern Wild

There was something about the publicity for this film that convinced me that I really would NOT like to see it. Then all the endorsements started: raves from critics, professionals and even friends, so I yielded and ordered the DVD from the city library.

This is about six-year-old Hushpuppy confronted by global warming, a terminally ill father and the dangers of a marginal existence in the Louisiana bayous.

Now don't let me dissuade you if you want to watch a feral child:
  • co-exist near her father (who is clearly a drunken nut case, e.g., he goes out and shoots his rifle at a hurricane and comes back puffed up with pride for his actions);
  • heat her food on a gas burner which she lights with a welding torch (and burns down her mobile home);
  • evade her father when he becomes abusive;
  • refuse to evacuate when a hurricane is forecast;
  • live in a muddy, filthy, primitive environment where most of the adults are chronically drunk;
...then by all means, rent the DVD and help yourself.

This child attends a little school in which she learns about the prehistoric aurochs which had once roamed the planet. Of course when she imagines them, they are a gigantic blend of reality and myth: wild hogs with horns, which are much, much taller than she. She provides the voiceover, repeating her own childish interpretation of lessons learned in the classroom, from rumor, and courtesy of wise elderly folk.

The performance drawn from the little girl who plays the lead is remark- able, but the environment is so repugnant, I had trouble watching. I'm not sure the purpose of this film...maybe so we could feel superior and all-knowing? Maybe so we could feel sorry for her? (She wouldn't want THAT!) Maybe to sell us a ticket to a movie theater? There were no lessons to be learned, no beauty to be appreciated and no wisdom to be shared. In my opinion: YUCK!

I'm glad there is no charge to obtain a DVD from our library.

This should generate a lot of blow-back from my JayFlix.net group. ...smile...
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Take a peek at the preview:
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