Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in the Bathtub, a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink's tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he's no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack, temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink's health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.Written by
Sundance Film Festival
The production did not hire a cinematographer until less than a month before production. Director Benh Zeitlin had originally intended to act as cinematographer himself but later decided to employ one. Ben Richardson was hired as as the cinematographer for the miniature portions and had lobbied to shoot the entire film, but despite his friendship with Zeitlin the producers were hesitant to hire Richardson because he had never shot a feature. After veteran cinematographers were screened and an appropriate one could not be found Richardson shot a test reel on his own and presented it to the producers, and was subsequently hired. See more »
Hushpuppy's father, Wink, is removed from "The Bathtub" and taken to a medical clinic after the storm. While at the clinic, he is obviously sick, and told he must undergo medical treatment to live. Wink refuses the treatment, and is physically restrained by the staff. Later, he is administered painkillers or sedatives to calm him down, which he rejects. In the United States, where this film takes place, an adult citizen has the right to refuse medical treatment. No American doctor or nurse in his or her right mind would ever physically restrain a patient after being informed the patient has declined medical attention. Wink has every right to decline treatment and walk out of the clinic. He also has every right to sue the medical staff for 10 million dollars for the medical treatment he has refused, not to mention assault, and he would almost certainly win that case. See more »
All the time, everywhere, everything's hearts are beating and squirting, and talking to each other the ways I can't understand. Most of the time they probably be saying: I'm hungry, or I gotta poop.
[listening to bird's heartbeat]
But sometimes they be talkin' in codes.
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I can understand how most people view this film within the context of Hurricane Katrina. But even as a former denizen of the Gulf coast who sat out Alicia, Claudette, Allen, Rita, and Ike, I view this film in a much, much larger context. It goes beyond stereotype and into archetype -- the denizens of the Bathtub aren't poor drunks at the mercy of the environment, they are The People of the world they inhabit. Hushpuppy doesn't have a drunk father, she has a Father, with many of the faults and strengths of the immortal epic heroes -- anger, pride, genuine love and concern. Hushpuppy herself isn't just a little girl, she is The Child -- the purveyor of a magic which is real, intimately connected with her world, imaginatively linked with All Things. The outside world is a place of Things and Machines, of paperwork and rules -- and is never actually named, you see, because that would diminish it. Everything in this film exists within the realm of archetype, and if you watch it with that in mind, its multiple messages take on cosmic significance. Beautifully shot, beautifully acted -- it's going to take a few more days for the entire thing to completely sink in. Outstanding!
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