Beasts of the Southern Wild
Directed by: Benh Zeitlin
Written by: Benh Zeitlin & Lucy Alibar
Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly and Lowell Landes
Since Beasts of the Southern Wild was my pick for the best movie of 2012, I thought I would revisit it here since my original review was an ecstatic, somewhat over-the-top reaction from the Cannes Film Festival. Having seen the film twice now, I still maintain that it is a masterpiece, and one of the best translations of childhood consciousness that I’ve ever seen in a movie.
Many of the criticisms of Benh Zeitlin’s debut feature revolve around its treatment of race as it relates to poverty. The harshest (and most recent) of these comes from Richard Brody of The New Yorker, who wrote:
The movie itself is this year’s The Help, a romanticized and mythologized vision of poor Southern blacks (in this case, a father and daughter in a Louisiana bayou community called the Bathtub) that also sentimentalizes the very notion of self-help (“The Self-Help”) in a story that spotlights a tough, poetic, independent-spirited child facing dangers in aquatic adventures.