Writers: Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Josh Penn Executive Producer: Philipp Engelhorn, Paul Mezey, Michael Raisler Cinematographer: Ben Richardson Cast: Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry
Already being hailed as a masterpiece of imaginative storytelling, this vivid dream of a tale got the super-cool audiences of Cannes Festival literally cheering. At Sundance it won top awards for dramatic (fiction) film and cinematography.
The setting, a bayou in Delta Louisiana known as "The Bathtub," is so perfectly disconnected from civilization that it could be anywhere or any time that natural forces predominate over human actions. In fact, the story actually inhabits a middle ground between raw nature and the fervid imagination of its main character, a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy.
She lives alone, or nearly so—her father is impulsive and ailing—in a shack on stilts, where she communicates with the birds, the dog, a hog, and the spirit of her absent mother. She speaks like an oracle. Just about every one of her outbursts is memorable—funny, spunky, mystical.
The filmmakers (amazingly, this is their debut creation) planned the role to be played by somebody in the ten-to-fifteen age range. But after auditioning 3,500 girls they came upon this amazing kid named Quvenzhané Wallis. They realized they were "looking at a warrior," says the director. "The spirit [of Wallis] is exactly the spirit of the movie." That spirit is epic in scope, made manifest with the arrival of prehistoric beasts known as aurochs.
Sponsored by Whole Foods Market
Sat, Jun 16th 8:00pm
Castle Theater - Maui Arts & Cultural Center