As an avid fan of the Academy Awards, I was inclined to hunt down a copy of Beasts of the Southern Wild given Quvenzhané Wallis’ nomination for best actress, making her the youngest female actress to be nominated for an Academy Award.
The film follows five-year-old Hushpuppy and her ailing father Wink, as they try to make sense of the changes in their life as their community of Bathtub in southern Louisiana faces horrific flooding.
Having not known life outside of Bathtub, Wink attempts to teach his daughter how to survive the flood, while most of the community evacuates.
However, due to increased saline levels, everything that’s left behind begins to die, leaving the remaining residents of Bathtub without food.
Forced to evacuate, Wink is given news that he is dying by doctors at the emergency shelter set up for the flood victims.
He eventually confronts Hushpuppy with the news and she sets out to find her mother and then arrange for her father’s burial.
Whilst the film faced much black lash due to Wallis’ nomination as well as the sometimes demur storyline, I found it to be deeply poignant at times, raising intricate questions about survival and humanity.
The central premise of the film revolves around the ideology that we are all connected as one in nature and we all play a specific role in balance of life. The slightest disruption of this balance and the Earth seizes to exist as it is, often with fatal consequences.