I went to see Beasts Of The Southern Wild last night. It is a powerful film touching down on themes that I have been thinking about and trying to work through myself this summer. The reality of climate change pushing it's way into my life, the desire for a deeper more meaningful connection to the natural world, and really living life with children in on ongoing day to day, life experience to life experience continuum. Hushpuppy tells us in the beginning of the film that "The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the smallest piece, the entire universe will get busted".
The summer we have just lived through being one of the hottest and driest droughts in recorded history has put climate change in the front of my consciousness. While we watched the film last night, slow moving hurricane Isaac was pounding New Orleans exactly 7 years after Katrina almost totally swept the city away. I would have to say that the universe feels pretty well busted to anyone brave enough to pay attention and move out of the denial stage.
The little girl voice overs and the penchant to tell the story with powerful images (reminding me of the great director Terrence Malick) gives this film a magical, mythical feel. The use of unprofessional actors plucked from the regional location gives it a gritty realness.
One more night in the cheap theater down at the mall and this movie leaves town like a battered carnival that didn't get enough traffic to break even. Apparently this kind of poetry mixed with prophecy is a cocktail that few Americans have a taste for.