Reflecting on Beasts of the Southern Wild

Jennifer Beard on Beasts of the Southern Wild,

“I was attracted to the film Beasts of the Southern Wild, when I saw the Wex ad which featured the beautiful child among the vibrant fireworks. I deliberately avoided reviews or trailers of Beasts, as I typically do when I plan to see a film.  So all I knew of the movie was the image. I had NO IDEA  what I was in for.  I actually found the film quite disturbing.  I was intensely  uncomfortable with what I considered to be yet  another depiction of abuse, neglect,  abandonment and  trauma  in a black family. But the film was nuanced with (although not redeemed by) messages of  self-determination and perseverance.  So, given my ambivalence regarding “Beasts”, you might wonder why it was among one of my favorite Wex presentations.  The answer is that the film not only provoked  much thought but it stirred a myriad of emotions for me. It reminded me of the complicated cultural dynamics that exist in our society and it was the impetus for several critical conversations.  Finally, the actress who played the Hushpuppy character (Quvenzhane Wallis) was INCREDIBLE.”

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