Thursday 13 December will see the premiere of the fifth monthly preview as warm-up to the 2nd edition of the Curaçao IFFR in April 2013. This time the choice fell on the independent production Beasts of the Southern Wild, the directorial debut of newcomer Behn Zeitlin, filmed on a limited budget, with exclusively local non-actors playing the lead roles. Beasts of the Southern Wild is the latest sensation of the major film festivals of Cannes and Sundance and rumored to be a favorite for an Oscar nomination.
The story is largely told through the eyes of a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy (sensational newcomer Quvenzhanė Wallis) who is raised by her sickly, single father, an alcoholic who teaches his daughter how to survive while maintaining her dignity. The story is set in a poverty-stricken area without any electricity and amidst the rubbish, called ‘the Bathtub’, with in the background a city that reminds us of New Orleans in the Mississippi-delta. It is a secluded community where the people are one with nature but must also be creative to literally keep their heads above water to survive. A storm of epic proportions threatens the community and Hushpuppy must do her utmost to survive.
In spite of the dramatic themes of natural disaster, survival and illness, Beasts of the Southern Wild does not for a single moment turn into a depressing film. On the contrary, the film is a unique fairy-tale in which grim reality blends with fantasy, humor and magic realism. And it has a message: when the hurricane threatens to destroy their world, the residents of the Bathtub refuse to evacuate and instead organize a grand feast with plenty of food, drink and (Cajun) music: even in the darkest of times there is always hope for something better.
Beasts of the Southern Wild comes highly recommended and will play at The Cinemas from Thursday 13 December daily at 17:00, 19:15 and 21:30. Saturday and Sunday at 12:45 and 14:45.