Today is Friday, August 18, 2017

'Beasts' a beautiful tale of courage and love

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The community celebrates more holidays than any other, as Hushpuppy puts it, and enjoys they life they have, which seems about as far from modern society as an American community can get nowadays.

Zeitlin celebrates the residents attitudes, their love for what they own and what they have created for themselves, and the destruction and loss of it all is heartbreaking. As the storm approaches, Winks health declines and his struggles with Hushpuppy are beautiful and full of raw emotion.

He tries to instill in her the strength and courage to move on, to live life without him, and to prepare a young girl walking around in dirty clothes and rubber boots, the ability to fend for herself. He drinks too much, disappears at times, but his love is evident in the stories he tells of he and Hushpuppys mother.

When the storms come and the residents try to avoid forced-evacuation, the world is ending in the eyes of Hushpuppy, who sees the destruction of her home in the only way a child can, as a manifestation of melting polar ice caps, the unleashing of ancient beasts bent on trampling everything in their path.

Im the man! She defiantly yells at her fathers behest. Wallis truly is a wonder, narrating the story as she builds Hushpuppys strength, love and courage to something unimaginably powerful and palpable.

Zeitlin moved to Louisiana in 2006 and the film is a wonderful mixture of artistic vision and celebration of the place he calls home. I found out that Henry is a local man, not a professional actor, but a baker. His performance as Hushpuppys father is tragic and wondrous.

There are many lessons to draw from Beasts of the Southern Wild, but perhaps the most poignant is Hushpuppy, a short, 6-year-old girl who stands her ground amid death, destruction, poverty and homelessness, and says, Im the man.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is rated PG-13 with a run time of 93 minutes. It is available in local video rental stores and, I found it at local RedBox kiosks.

Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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