beasts-of-the-southern-wild-4th-april-2013“Sometimes miraculous films come into being, made by people you’ve never heard of, starring unknown faces, blindsiding you with creative genius. Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of the year’s best films.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.

“At home in the Bathtub, a marshy swampland off the coast of southern Louisiana, 6-year-old Hushpuppy lives by a simple code: ‘When you’re small, you gotta fix what you can.’ It’s a fitting mantra for Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, a stunning debut that finds its dandelion-haired heroine fighting rising tides and fantastic creatures in a mythic battle against modernity.” – Peter Debruge, Variety.

PLEASE NOTE: As this is an additional screening it is not included in your membership. We very much hope you will want to see this very pleasing film, though!

Members, members’ guests, students and Friends of the Phoenix – £5
Non-members – £6.

Programme Notes

Beasts of the Southern Wild
USA 2012 93 minutes Cert. 12A

This superbly visual debut film from Benh Zeitlin combines first class story telling and drama concerned with climate change. Set in a remote community in the Southern states of America which has been overlooked and forgotten by the wider community, echoes of the devastation of New Orleans by hurricane Katrina are fully intentional. Hushpuppy (Oscar nominated Quvenzhané Wallis), a young child with a developed imagination, lives with her physically frail and semi-alcoholic father, Wink, who pines for his absent wife, in an area referred to as the Bathtub – a place both physical and metaphysical. They forage and scrape together a living until, one day, floods of biblical proportions come and they take refuge in their bath tub ark. With allusions to political and mystical occurrences, and elements of magical realism, Hushpuppy wards off the deadly aurochs, in order to save herself and Wink.

Hushpuppy – Quvenzhané Wallis
Wink – Dwight Henry
Jean Battiste – Levy Easterly
Miss Bathsheba – Gina Montana
Walrus – Lowell Landes

Director – Benh Zeitlin
Screenplay – Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin based on Alibar’s play Juicy and Delicious
Original Music – Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin
Cinematography – Ben Richardson
Producers – Michael Gottwald, Dan Jarvey, Josh Penn

“…it’s comforting to see that American cinema is still capable of making intelligent, narrative-driven cinema, capable of confronting contemporary issues. Thankfully, Zeitlin’s ecologically-attuned debut looks set to capture both hearts and minds.” Daniel Green, Cine Vue.


“What a great film!”

“Excellent film”

“Good performance from Quvenzhane Wallis but what was the message – don’t be rescued by an American charity?”

“Interesting and unusual – a few films of this sort could solve the unemployment problems everywhere! I liked the music.”

“Entertaining but not really my cup of tea. Interesting in parts but too whimsical and bity for me.”

“Post-apocalyptic hogwash – but very well done. Only about 30% of the dialogue was comprehensible but it probably didn’t matter.”

“Dialogue was very hard to follow.”

“I think I’ve just seen a sanitised version of hell on earth. Sound was difficult to hear clearly at times.”

“Not cohesive enough for me. It left Kathryn Bryant [animal wrangler] with an awful lot to do!”

“Disconnected. Some good photography.”

“Largely incoherent. Pity they couldn’t find a way to hold the camera steady.”

“Dullness has been re-defined. No plot, just dull and uninspired. An E rating is too good for this film!”


A:5, B:5, C:6, D:2, E:2 to give 61%