Beasts of the Southern Wild by Benh Zeitlin
1. The title of the film Beasts of the Southern Wild is not only captivating but also appropriate. The title illustrates a scenario that is full of harsh and undomesticated conditions and people, just like a typical beast in one of the southern region islands, are cut off from the rest of the world. The setting of the film in an area, south of the country, considered as not part of the world, makes the title fit for the film. Several scenes in the film show the relevance of the title. For example, the setting of the film is in an island threatened by hurricanes and floods. These catastrophes destroy the island and the residents have to rebuild their community though they fear that the storms may attack the island again. Moreover, Hushpuppy’s father is a tough and bad-tempered man. At times, he gives alcoholic drinks to the young Hushpuppy and even beats her for being less fierce. Moreover, Hushpuppy burns their house down after an argument with her father. Additionally, she burns Wink’s grave soon after his death. These incidences are proof of the appropriateness of the title.
2. While analyzing the film, I would use reader-response criticism. Under this analytical approach, the focus is on the audience, as opposed to the author. Analyzing the film from an audience perspective would aid in determining if they connected with the film. Depending on the person’s understanding of the film, this mode of analytical approach aids in identifying their personality. Secondly, I would use psychological criticism in analyzing the film. This analytical approach is useful in analyzing the film in detail. It helps in scrutinizing the writer, audience and the film as a whole. Under this analytical approach, one can identify all emotions conveyed in the film. This would be critical in identifying the inspiration of a certain character or event in the event hence, an understanding of the film. The use of these two types of analytical approach would aid me in understanding the film as well as providing a detailed presentation of it to the audience.
3. Similar to other literature works, this film has different characters used to describe certain themes. Moreover, its setting conveys a certain message intended by the producer of the film. Like other films, the audience can relate to the film in a certain way. This film addresses the daily lives in a society. The setting of the film in a society links the film to a society context. This makes the audience relate to the film with much ease. Moreover, the film producer uses various themes to convey his intended message. In this film, he portrays anger as a trait manifested in Hushpuppy’s father. Moreover, he uses various incidences to describe the theme of tragedy. This is by the use of certain disasters such as fire, hurricanes and floods. Additionally, he describes the theme of death by use of certain scenarios in the film. As such, this film relates to several themes, characters and social contexts.
4. The storm scene would be appropriate in representing the theme of tragedy. In the story, the storm leads to massive destruction in the island. People lose their houses and other belongings due to the hurricane. Moreover, some of the island’s residents die because of the storm. The setting of the film in the period of the hurricane is appropriate in describing the theme of tragedy. Additionally, the theme of anger is evident through Hushpuppy’s father. Anger manifests itself when he beats his daughter for no reason. Moreover, Hushpuppy manifests anger when she burns their house after an argument with her father. Likewise, the producer portrays the theme of death where Wink dies. The incorporation of a grave in the film illustrates the theme of death. Moreover, the loss of lives after the hurricane hits the island supports this theme.
5. From the presentation of this film, one can form several discussion questions. For example, according to the film’s presentation, would you classify the film as a comedy or horror film? Secondly, do the calamities experienced in the island have an influence on residents’ personalities?