One of this summer’s great revelations was the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” It is remarkable tale — at once mythical and very real — of childhood, a flood, and finding one’s place in a world that seems to be ending. The work of a film collective based in Louisiana, it was directed by Behn Zeitlin and performed by a cast made up entirely of locals, most startlingly the incredible 6-year-old star of the film Quevenzhané Wallis.
You can read about the making of the film, and Zeitlin’s encounter with Cajun culture, here. The film has initiated some great discussions about race, culture, and the meaning of America. Here’s a useful and critical examination of the film by Carrie Leelam Love; the comments on the article are also particularly interesting. Jarvis DeBerry, meanwhile, a regular contributor to New Orleans newspapers, offers this spirited celebration of the film at the blog Colorlines.
I’d urge everyone to go out and see the movie on the big screen — it’s an experience not to be missed.