‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ review: Wet and wild The only wall bisecting one world from another in Benh Zeitlin’s damply poetic debut film is a levee: a barricade separating the people of the Bathtub, a dirt-poor community in the wetness of the Louisiana Delta, from residents of “the dry side,” an alien territory devoid of joy and freedom. Folks within the Bathtub live there knowing a storm is brewing, knowing a flood could sweep them away – and yet they remain, denizens of a lively, watery place that resides somewhere between party central and a Southern Gothic landscape pocked with death. When a teacher-seer-shaman tells the children that there will be a storm, that the ice caps will melt, that prehistoric, ox-like aurochs will thaw out and bring their raging hunger south, Hushpuppy receives this as gospel. when she punches her daddy in anger – when he stumbles to the ground just as the storm first cracks – she knows that it’s all her fault. Few are more aware of their place in the grand scheme, and less literal in describing it, than characters in a humid Faulknerian fable. Ben Richardson’s cinematography traps the heat and brackish scent of the Bathtub air.
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‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ review: Wet and wild