Beasts of the Southern Wild is a vividly poetic and maybe even therapeutic response to one of the most painful and mortifying episodes in modern American history, second only to 9/11. The shimmer of … The total cost of this disaster tallied up to $3.4 billion USD. ‎Show Stories for Earth: Climate Change in Pop Culture, Ep S1 E4: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Hurricane Katrina, and Climate Change - Dec 24, 2019 ‎Beasts of the Southern Wild has a lot to teach us about responding to climate change. Given the privileged pedigree of most of the crew and their interactions with the local cast, one has to wonder if the making of the film might not have produced a more complex, challenging commentary about America and its socio-cultural decay. Unable or unwilling at this point to envision a profound change in social realities, far too many filmmakers search out “communities” of one kind or another where the present conditions are supposedly made bearable by the intensity of the personal or social relationships. If you’re looking for a metaphor to represent the beasts we face today in the climate crisis, I can’t think of a better one than aurochs. Zeitlin continues: “The film is about how you survive and combat the loss of a place, the loss of a culture, and don’t let these things crush you. Was it the voodoo? The production design is uniquely organic and there is an appealing density to the imagery. Beasts of the Southern Wild blew audiences and critics away all over the world, and it’s easy to see why. But this is no reason to give up on them. ‘How are people going to look back on my civilization?’ she wonders. So it’s that parallel that inspired us to use the aurochs. Christian Toto 7 Dec 2012. Wink and his friends build a pipe bomb and successfully destroy the levee, draining the Bathtub just before FEMA comes to force everyone to evacuate to a hospital on the mainland. The survivors soon discover that the salty flood water has contaminated the Bathtub’s fresh water, so Wink and a few other men hatch a plan to blow up the levee separating the Bathtub from the mainland. That isn’t to say recovering from Katrina was easy by any stretch of the imagination. I adored Beasts of the Southern Wild and have seen it three times: each viewing a quick incursion into the southern surreal. Directed by Benh Zeitlin, written by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar. Abraham, an Old Testament patriarch, begged God not to destroy the cities if he was able to find even ten good people there. Please support our work by becoming a Patron today or by making a one-time donation here. Beasts of the Southern Wild is the story of Hushpuppy, a little girl who lives with her father Wink in a fictional southern Louisiana town called the Bathtub. Resilience is not so uncommon. Article: “Louisiana’s Disappearing Coast“, Book: Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island. But one can long for the artist who truly puts his money where his mouth is. The film plunges the audience into an autonomous zone that is at once garish and dazzling, repulsive and magical. Beasts of the Southern Wild. And she sees herself as being in the same position as cavemen: We look back on them and understand them by their paintings. No. That’s how you survive all the tragedy that can drag you into a dark place.”. The mothers’ mental health never really returned to baseline. Visit our website at for transcripts of every episode as well as additional content, and become a patron at if you want to support further production of the show. The film soars with overwhelming pictures and writing that veers between the sensitive and bombastic, and in the process muddles the serious themes it treats. Review. Beasts of a Southern Wild is able to merge a child's world with that of an adult; to make us see how the effects of global warming will challenge the lives of many; it is a comment and a reminder of Katrina, its victims and consequences; finally it is a poetic way of describing the world and its inhabitants, escaping the ugliness and despair of certain realities by converting it into hope, survival and beauty. But studies like this one are sadly rare. Court 13 worked out of an abandoned gas station throughout production of the film, and they built all the sets for the Bathtub using found materials in the area. As recently as October 2019, a typhoon hit the very same region, testing Japan’s resilience and recovery progress over the past eight years. The film enjoyed mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers alike, and it features an Oscar-nominated performance from Quvenzhané Wallis, who played Hushpuppy. What the citizens of the Bathtub want is not to rejoin the ways of the modern world “outside the bubble,” but to remain within the non-hierarchal, hunter-gatherer confines of the tribe. Director Benh Zeitlin said it himself in one interview I watched, talking about the reactions he’d hear from people who couldn’t believe residents of New Orleans would want to move back. Tellingly, the film is produced by Court 13, a New Orleans-based “grassroots filmmaking army.” Its manifesto expresses a desire to “make films about communities, as a community,” and values “do it yourself” (filmmaking), not as a matter of financial circumstance, but as a spiritual requirement.” Zeitlin, the film’s director, a Queens, New York native and Wesleyan University graduate, co-founded the collective in 2004. These storms will be beastly—pun intended—and we should be putting in work now to develop the emotional resilience we’ll need to face them head-on and recover from them afterwards. In fact, we nearly went extinct in the year 70,000 B.C. Beasts of the Southern Wild Benh Zeitlin's stunning debut finds its dandelion-haired heroine fighting rising tides and fantastic creatures in a mythic battle against modernity. Beasts of the Southern Wild is the story of Hushpuppy, a little girl who lives with her father Wink in a fictional southern Louisiana town called the Bathtub. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fairy tale about the end of the world. International Committee of the Fourth International. I remember hearing these takes too. There are lots of spoilers ahead. They know what it’s like to go on the roof to escape hurricane flood waters. A climactic scene in which Hushpuppy confronts the ancient Aurochs with the help of her little sisters suggests an alliance between humanity and nature can be possible only with the virtuous spirit of a nomadic children’s republic. One feels the collective’s urgency about the state of things, or at least the state of certain things. One night, Hushpuppy and Wink get into a fight, and Hushpuppy hits Wink in the chest. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Hurricane Katrina was just one storm. During this plague outbreak, nearly 10,000 people died every day in Constantinople. The storm essentially sat on the country for three days, killing 70 people and causing nearly 300 people to go missing. But something else happens here. The partying and gambling on Bourbon Street? In my life, movies aside, I want to be on boats with my friends, I want to be on frontier locations at the edge of the earth and with film you get to go on that adventure. It has everything to do with love and with standing up for what’s right. Everybody went in, got clothes, got water. In this pirate utopia lives Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis), a six-year-old who fashions her house out of a ruined trailer and eats cat food. It was something I didn’t want to do, but we had to.” Henry has no plans to pursue a career in acting. In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. It’s a secluded and wild place on the frontlines of sea level rise, separated from the rest of civilization by a massive levee that holds back the encroaching salt water. For the characters in the movie, Wink is a symbol of the Bath Tub—both he and the Bath Tub are dying. Every location that I shot is gone. But Wink loves Hushpuppy more than anything, and he’s hard on her because he’s afraid he won’t be around for long. Like the Horsemen of the Apocalypse bringing pestilence, war, famine and death, the four creatures are seen throughout the film charging closer to Hushpuppy as her father’s health, and her world, slips away. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a work of fantastical realism: The Bathtub isn’t a real place, according to director Benh Zeitlin, but it feels like it could be—a region near New Orleans outside the levy walls. Hushpuppy lives with Wink in a trailer home on stilts, and when she’s not at school, she spends her time playing in the woods around their house and learning lessons from Wink. They found post-Katrina locations in the ravaged bayous of Louisiana, and constructed on a small budget their convincing and meticulously detailed settlement.