Beasts of the Southern Wild (Zeitlin, 2012)
Wandering – that’s my one word description of this film. Physical, imaginative, relational, and emotional wandering. From the point of view of a young girl, we see brokenness, poverty, and irresponsibility as poetic, charming, and accepted. For her, there is no real purpose to the events as they unfold; life happens, a big event transpires, then life happens some more.
And here is where we experience the wandering: The brief disappearance and reappearance of her father without warning or consequence, floating through the post-hurricane floods, envisioning beasts from the ice age traversing the landscape, swimming in the sea until being picked up by a fisherman, being brought to a softly lit and serene girlie bar, and finding an affecting abundance of peace and care with those dancers and waitresses. More often than not, when this film peers down a dangerously trite hole, it’s able to veer – floating away instead of falling in – creating tender moments where banality threatened. A sweet depiction of a child’s innocence, naivety, sentiments, and reactions made into a graceful, moody piece of cinema. 8.5/10