Beasts of the Southern Wild
This motion picture is about a girl who lives with her father. Her mother has abandoned her early, so she does not remember her. They live in poor conditions. The man does not look after her properly. But still, he loves her and does his best to keep her safe. When he gets ill, the girl is looking for her mother, but in vain. She comes back right before his death. He has taught her how to be brave; and the little girl faces all the difficulties of the life.
The movie begins with a heart-piercing picture. A little beauty is sitting on the floor of a slightly ruined hovel and playing with mud and a real bird. Then she goes out but forgets to wear her pants. It is dirty in the yard, so she is wearing rain boots though it seems hot outside. She is one of the main characters. Her name is Hushpuppy. She is six years old. Hushpuppy is a slim African American with curly hair. The yard is full of livestock, broken implements, and vehicles. It seems not a proper place for a little child to live there. She approaches a pig and listens to its heartbeat. Then she does the same with several other animals.
Wink, her father, appears in the scene after an empty bottle of something alcohol is flying out of the hole in another hovel. He is worried that she is not wearing her pants and commands her to fix it. The father and daughter live in separate hovels, both unfit for human habitation. Wink prepares the breakfast, i.e. the fried chicken and calls his daughter. Hushpuppy uses neither a fork and knife nor plate when she is eating a huge piece of chicken. Moreover, she is not sitting at the table. Instead, she is eating beside the livestock and poultry in the yard. Then the family is floating in something that does not look like a boat. When they approach the dike that separates their region from a civilized world, Wink, observing the smoke from a factory, claims that their place, the Bathtub, is much better. The small island is surrounded by water that can flood it any moment.
All citizens arrive at a celebration that occurs often in this region. People are cheerful, and they are shouting and drinking alcohol on the move. All of them are wearing plain clothes. It is possible come to the conclusion that the level of life of all of them is similar. They belong to the lower middle class. Yet, Wink claims that on the other side of the dike the life is poorer; and he means the lack of the sense of community, fewer celebrations, and too many conveniences. In the evening, the celebration continues, and people are setting off fireworks and have much fun.
Miss Bathsheba is a local teacher whose classes are attended by a small group of children. She might be an only person in the community who can teach those kids, at least, something. Showing a tattoo on her hip during the lecture is definitely not a good teaching method. She explains the basic rules of life on the example of the archaic creatures called Aurochs who were eating ancient people. Bathsheba warns children that one day the level of water will rise, and they will have to maintain the certain skills not to die. Hushpuppy is very impressed by this story and imagines Aurochs covered with ice. She is afraid of those creatures and glad that they do not exist anymore.
Suddenly, Wink disappears. In the morning, the girl is searching for him because she is hungry, but she cannot find him anywhere. Being left alone, she is sad and worried. She is spoiling her bed sheets being unable to fall asleep. The girl does not have the mother; and she realizes that she will have no choice but fend for herself if her father is gone, too. After classes, Bathsheba offers Hushpuppy a ride, but she refuses and lies that her father will come soon. She also refuses from food though she has had no breakfast. The girl comes home and starts to think about her mother. Her father told her that she had left them because of fear that her heart would tear apart of excitement. It means that though Wink drinks much, he is a protective father. The girl’s heart would break if she knew that her mother was not brave enough to stay. Hushpuppy is so lonely that she imagines her mother talking to her while she is trying to cook something disgusting that contains cat food. Then she hears her father’s voice and rushes out of her hover. Wink is wearing a hospital gown and a badge; and he is in an awful mood. He does not want to talk to his daughter though he has been absent for some time. He shouts at her, and she runs away. Her feelings are hurt; and she sets her hovel on fire. Instead of asking her father for help, she hides in a box. She is too afraid to go out even when Wink is searching for her. He seems mad. But he is not as he is afraid to lose his only daughter. The girl is running out of the house, and Wink is chasing her. He scolds her for her deed and slaps her in the face. In return, Hushpuppy confronts him and tells him rude words. He has a stroke and falls on the ground. At that moment, tons of ice are melting and falling into the water in the Arctic. Aurochs, covered with ice, are floating towards the Bathtub. The sky becomes dark, and people start leaving the Bathtub because of an impending storm. Hushpuppy hurries to Bathsheba to ask her for help; and her teacher gives her some herbs in a big jar. When she comes back with the medicine, her father is not already there. She hides the jar into the hole in a tree. There is a panic in the street, but the family manages to reunite. Although most of 0citizens leave, some of them including Hushpuppy, Wink, Bathsheba, and several local bar frequenters decide to stay. Wink divides his hovel into two parts and does not let the girl be in his territory. The raindrops are falling from the roof, and there is much water on the floor. He commands Hushpuppy to sleep in the boat in case the water will raise more. He commands her to sleep, but she cannot do it because she is scared. The raindrops that are coming from the roof distract her. Wink is drinking alcohol in bed. To calm her down, he takes a gun, goes out in a heavy rain and starts shooting in the air saying that he will defeat the storm. At this time, Aurochs continue their way.
After the storm, the Bathtub is flooded, and the houses are completely ruined. The family gets into their boat and starts searching for the survivors. At first, they think that all of them have died. Hushpuppy is so hungry that eats a leaf. After realizing that they are alone in that area, Wink starts teaching the girl how to find food. Sooner or later, he will die because of his illness. He wants to teach her how to survive. In the boat, he shows her how to catch fish with her bare hands. Then he shows how to beat the fish. At night, Hushpuppy watches her father asleep and notices a wound and visible veins in the area of his heart. Not understanding the power of the nature, the child blames herself for ruining everything. Aurochs keep going because they feel the weakness in her heart.
While floating by the bar, one of the survivors comes out with a bottle of strong alcohol and falls into the water. They are surprised and very delighted to see him. It turns out that there are more people in the bar. They are all drunk and happy because they are alive. When the survivors celebrate, and everyone is already tipsy, Wink tells his daughter about the day when she was conceived. At that day, Wink and his wife were drinking beer, and he fell asleep at the riverside. A crocodile came out of the water, and his wife appeared with a gun and shot the animal, saving Wink’s life. Then she fried the crocodile, and they conceived Hushpuppy. He described his wife as a very attractive woman.
The survivors have caught crabs. All of them gathered at the bar to eat and commemorate the ones who died during the storm. However, they do it in their own way. Everyone is cheerful, and nobody cries. While eating, Bathsheba says that the water will not go away. The amount of salt is too big in the water, and it will lead to the death of all plants and animals. Soon, the survivors will have nothing to eat. The teacher states that they will have to move from the community. Wink argues that it is not an option. One of them starts explaining to the little girl how to butcher a crab with a knife. Observing it, her father upstarts and commands her to tear it without using a knife. The carapace is strong, and it is difficult to tear it for a small girl. However, she manages to do it because everyone present encourages her. Wink is proud that she is so strong.
In the day time, all of them, including children, are engaged in building a house on the highest spot of the island. Luckily, there are enough poultry and livestock to feed on till the water disappears. Bathsheba teaches children how to give the first aid. Kids also learn how to tend plants. Men are fishing. While Wink is asleep, his daughter covers him with a T-shirt for him to get warmer. She hears his heartbeat. At that same moment, Aurochs keep running and ruining everything on their way.
As Bathsheba has predicted, people see how the salty water starts to destroy trees, animals, and fish. The water is full of dead fish and small animals. Hushpuppy is sad; and she hopes that they will leave the community. However, Wink argues that they will not do it. Instead, they figure out a plan how to make the water go away. Early in the morning, when everyone except Hushpuppy is still asleep, Wink and two other men get up and gather something, including an artificial crocodile. The father convinces his daughter that everything will be all right, and he will fix everything. He mentions that if he dies, his friend will take care of her. He says that he will return soon. When Bathsheba wakes up, she seems very worried that they head towards the dike. She screams that if the men do ruin the dike, then the authorities will find them and take them to the shelter. Meanwhile, the men approach the dike on the boat and fix the artificial crocodile on it. The crocodile is stuffed with explosive objects. Hushpuppy hides under the netting on a boat to go to the dike with Bathsheba. One of the men loses the cord, and Wink is diving to search for it because, without it, they cannot ruin the dike. When he already holds it, Bathsheba comes up to him on a boat and takes him by his hand. She throws the cord on the netting and claims that she is trying to save him. Then Hushpuppy stands up and takes the cord, and the men command her to pull it, while Bathsheba is strongly against it. She pulls the cord, and the dike explodes. Luckily, everyone is safe. The water goes away. Not being able to use the boats anymore, they are going on foot back home. All hovels and houses are ruined, mud is everywhere.
In the evening, Wink and his daughter try to fix their hovel. They have built the fireplace to dry up sodden walls. Hushpuppy notices that her father feels worse. The wound near the area of his heart keeps growing. Being upset, the girl is calling for her mother, but hears the sound of a helicopter in return. The authorities warn that they will evacuate all of them. Hushpuppy is walking towards the tree where she has hidden the jar with herbs, finds it not broken, and takes it home. She takes those dry herbs and puts it in Wink’s mouth. He frightens, wakes up, and starts scolding the girl. He breaks the jar, and the girl starts throwing their things in a rage because she cannot cure her father. She is ruining their so-called furniture, and Wink starts doing the same. Then they start throwing soft objects at each other. Soon, Wink gets tired and lies on the floor. Hushpuppy admits that she knows about his illness and starts crying. Wink pours her some alcohol, and they drink together. She does not like the smell of the beverage but takes a sip. Hushpuppy worries that he will die, and he says that he will not leave her. She thinks that she has the same illness, but her father convinces her that it is not true. Wink assures her that he will recover. He lets her lie beside him to fall asleep. While she is listening to Wink’s heartbeat, Aurochs keep searching for her. One of the creatures dies, and others eat it without any mercy.
In the morning, the authorities come to take all survivors to the shelter. The family tries to hide, but the representatives of the authorities come into the hovel. Wink stands against them, but they still manage to grab them. Other survivors also resist, but without any success. At the shelter, there are many people. Some of them are even lying on the floor because of the lack of space. Wink commands his daughter not to eat the food that the workers of the shelter offer. The doctor comes up to the family, and Hushpuppy overhears their conversation. Wink requires an operation. When he hears the bad news, he becomes rather aggressive and attacks the doctor.
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The workers give Hushpuppy clean clothes and do her hair. She does not seem to enjoy her new look. She is confused and worried about her father. While other children are playing, she is standing alone. After the operation, she looks after her father. Then she comes up to another patient to listen to his heartbeat. Wink has discussed his death with Hushpuppy, commanding her to put his corps in the boat and set it on fire not to be buried inside the walls of the dike. Nurses try to give Wink some medicine, but he waits till they go away and spits it out. Then he gets up and searches for Hushpuppy. All survivors decide to escape from the facility. Wink is weak physically but remains strong emotionally. All survivors get into the bus. Wink asks them to take his daughter to the safe place. Hushpuppy starts calling for him and attacks the driver, so they have to stop the bus. She is heading towards Wink and blames him for leaving her. He confesses that his illness is too serious, and he will not live for a long time. He does not want his daughter to see him like that. Finally, he gives up and agrees to go back to their community.
The main character takes several friends to leave the community and searches for her mother. They are swimming, and a man on a boat picks them up. Hushpuppy is talking to the owner of the boat. He seems kind and offers her a sandwich, but she refuses. The man’s philosophy is connected with sandwiches. He keeps a pile of wrappings to remind him about his past. The man takes girls to a brothel where he seems to be a frequent guest. Women from the brothel are happy to see him. They are surprised but excited to see little girls. Girls are walking around the brothel, and Hushpuppy notices a beautiful woman who is drinking beer. It seems to be the same way she has imagined her mother having done that. It might be her. The woman notices the girl looking at her and starts asking her questions. She is kind to her and invites her to the kitchen where she works as a cook. The woman is rather graceful, even wearing an apron. She is cooking a piece of a crocodile for the girl. Hushpuppy is looking at her with acute fascination. She eats, and then children are dancing on the dance-floor with women. All of them lack the warmth and attention of their mothers. The main character asks that woman to take care of her and Wink. The female replies that she can take care of no one but herself. Nevertheless, she offers the little girl to stay there. During her life, somebody held Hushpuppy only twice: when she was born, Wink held her, and at that moment, the women held her. The girl is strong, and she decides to come back to her father. Even if the woman is her mother, she does not recognize her. The girl is whispering something in her ear, but the viewer cannot hear the words. After the words, the woman goes away.
Little girls are hurrying back to the Bathtub. Hushpuppy is holding a package. They wear shabby and dirty clothes. Aurochs approach the Bathtub, as well. When children notice the creatures, they start screaming, and only Hushpuppy keeps silent. Finally, she turns around and faces them. The creatures do not hurt her. Instead, they knee and she calls them her friends. They understand that her heart is brave, so they leave the community. The girl comes up to her father’s bed. He is dying. She opens the package and gives him a piece of the fried crocodile that the cook in the brothel prepared for her. When he dies, she does his will and sets his body on the boat on fire.