Beasts of the Southern Wild: A Review

6 Aug

Review by Russ McSpadden

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a big budget Indy film about anthropogenic ecological collapse as experienced by a poor and backwoods bayou island community called the Bathtub, situated just off the coast of New Orleans. More specifically, it’s about the experience of a 7 year old bad ass named Hushpuppy who has a keen and deep ecological understanding that “the whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the tiniest piece, the entire universe will get busted.”

And she is caught up in the bust for sure. Climate disruption has pushed the glaciers into the ocean and the Bathtub is submerged. From the frozen millennia a pack of long extinct aurochs is unleashed and they are seeking Hushpuppy.

As the tides rise, hers is a village cut off as a sacrifice zone for the sake of the city. Folks are left flooded, their marshlands and forests salinated, their livestock drowned and their supplies of fish and crayfish poisoned. Technocrats and politicians have walled in the all-important commercial zones of the city, leaving the outskirts to tread water on the wrong side of the levy. The worst effects of melting polar ice and rising temperatures are mitigated by marvelous engineering designs in place for the protection of the very systems and communities that spurred the crisis on in the first place. Hushpuppy and her daddy take care of that the only way they know how–a dead gator stuffed from teeth to ass with dynamite.

This movie ain’t no small potatoes nor some obscure deep ecologist’s film school submission. Its already won awards at Cannes and Sundance, with murmurs of an Oscar nod. Many of the actors were farmed right from the region, from the Katrina ravaged coast, and its therefore a blessing to these communities to have their story told and their people paid. And don’t worry if you don’t have an art house theater in town. This one is playing at the big box offices. Take your kid friends. It’s PG-13 and real and harsh but not inappropriate. I took my 8 year old daughter. This might be the most profound feature length non-documentary representation of the way climate change will affect the lives of poor children.

5 Responses to “Beasts of the Southern Wild: A Review”

  1. Terry McGahey August 19, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    You people are a bunch of assholes! I worked as a cowboy in Arizona when you shitheads cut water lines to the tanks which the cattle drank from, cut fences, tore down gates and spread roofing nails around the working pens. Yea, you assholes really care about animals. You people only want to cause trouble and you are no better than communists and there ought to be an open season on you jackasses. Go to hell!

    • tucsonoffice August 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      Well thanks for the kind words Terry. I’m not sure who did all that you say back in your cowboy days but I can guess it was a couple of Earth First! cowboys themselves tired of your shitty cattle baron boss receiving government subsidies and grazing his cows on public land at the expense of the vast open wild and free beauty of Arizona, all on the public dime to boot. Fences are part of trapping our world in, domesticating us all and they won’t cut themselves down. If you had the grits about you and you loved the wild and all that vast freedom, you’d be out there cutting fences too. Now get out there!

      Or should you really desire our murder as you say I guess you can keep on that track. Seems a bit disturbed though.

      • tucsonoffice August 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

        By the way, are you the same Terry McGahey, cowboy poet extraordinaire?

        Why ya trolling movie reviews on the internet?

      • Terry McGahey July 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

        No, I do not desire your murder but I do believe you need to get things straight. First off, the cattle barons of old no longer exist in Arizona, you are living in the past with that statement. The outfits I worked for were small family owned businesses that barely made a living at it. Second, they are not on the public dime, they pay for their leases and take care of the land so the land can take care of them. Maybe the leases are reasonable but as I stated, they take care of the land. By grazing, the cows keep down the fire hazards from lightning strikes and other. Yes the property is fenced but in this day and age they have to be, we don’t have miles and miles of open country anymore because of fences from everyone not just ranchers. Thirdly, items on the land that folks from your organization destroyed is on land that no one uses for recreation, this land is mostly good for only coyotes and snakes as well as cattle. No trees, no beautiful scenery nor flat enough area’s for enjoyment in the middle of nothing with no protection from the sun. Last but not least, Yes it was your group in my opinion because vehicles were around at the time with your bumper stickers on them and when they pulled out the trouble ended. Maybe I can’t prove it but there is no doubt in my mind who it was causing the trouble and one other thing, if your group is so right in what you do how come at that time it was listed with the federal government as an Eco Terrorist Group? Should you not believe me in what I say contact the federal forest dept. Bob Steele, the ranger for that district at that time deputized two of us on the spot to go into one of the camps your people was in because he also knew who was behind it.


  1. Catching Fire to the Reign | Earth First! Newswire - May 19, 2013

    […] it. Take a look at the rise of indy flics like The East, Wrenched, Who Bomber Judi Bari?, and even Beasts of the Southern Wild, all traveling the film fest circuit in the past two years. Outside of the media world, take the tar […]

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