Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild—an emotionally and visually gorgeous film that’s full of newcomers, from its director, Benh Zeitlin, to its tiny star, Quvenzhané Wallis—is set in the Bathtub, a modern-day Southern swamp community populated with eccentrics who drink together, play music together, paddle boats made from household appliances and spare lumber, and throw boisterous parties, and where 6-year-old Hushpuppy (Wallis) lives with her father. When the inevitable big storm comes, the residents have to fight nature and forced community-shattering evacuations by the government. The film smartly and delicately blends reality with fantasy, tracking Hushpuppy’s childlike way of seeing and coping with her world as it breaks apart. 

by Brendan Kiley
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Benh Zeitlin
Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly