Oct. 31, 2012 - Issue #889-Human Trafficking Problem
Beasts of the Southern WildSat, Nov 3 – Wed, Nov 14
Directed by Benh Zeitlin
Metro Cinema at the Garneau
There's no end to the anxiety prompted by water in director/co-writer Ben Zeitlin's acclaimed debut, set in a marshy lowland where boisterous survivors of some disaster make do with what meager supplies they can access (which apparently includes a lot of beer). Echoes of Katrina ripple throughout, but the voice we hear reflecting upon all this chaos is that of six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis), a girl too young to even remember the hurricane that ate Louisiana, though she's haunted by visions of collapsing ice caps and giant boars of the Apocalypse. Her father (Dwight Henry) is awfully sick, usually drunk, at least half-crazy: he attacks a nocturnal storm with a shotgun. Still, they stick together.
The solidarity between blacks and whites, adults and children, the cultivated naiveté and the quietly epic quality to this story of a father and his progeny traversing a dying landscape tempt one to sum up Beasts of the Southern Wild as George Washington meets The Road. Beasts has an amazing sequence in which four little girls are welcomed into a floating brothel. It's like something out of Apocalypse Now. Or maybe The Odyssey. But there are also many scenes that feel oddly schematic and yet somehow directionless.
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