Beasts of the Southern Wild

When the Levee Breaks – ★★

Not since Oliver! have we seen such a rose tinted view of poverty and the struggles of the dispossessed. Benh Zeitlin’s first feature film is a hodge-podge of scenes and half finished ideas depending on saccharine emotions to tug at your heart strings.

Hushpuppy is an only child living with her ill father Wink in the Bathtub, a community on a Louisiana bayou made up of waifs, drifters and raconteurs. They eke out an existence living on chicken and shellfish. Hushpuppy’s mother is nowhere to be seen and when her father wonders off for days at a time she must fend for herself by any means possible. Melting ice caps and rising waters threaten to drown the Bathtub community and they must decide whether to hold up or flee to safety. To add to the drama mythical creatures called Aurochs (think scary versions of Pumbaa from The Lion King) are thundering towards Hushpuppy.

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