You can tell Beasts of the Southern Wild is made by first-time feature writers, directors, and producers. They are unrestricted by the burden of knowing what a feature film is *supposed* to look like, feel like, sound like, be structured like. I can’t imagine a studio ever making a film like this. As a result, Beasts feels incredibly raw: it takes a buckshot approach to symbolism, it shapes an unconventional depiction of a father-daughter relationship, and it showcases massive animals thawed out from icebergs without the aid of CGI. Yet despite the clutter, Beasts is unmistakably human. I haven’t seen an area, a community, a relationship depicted precisely this way on screen before, and this specificity of vision makes its universal themes devastatingly personal.
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