man up

Be a man.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a bold showcase of how a first-time director, actors and actresses can bring something new and authentic to the table, often with sheer shock and awe.

Though set in a contemporary world, Hushpuppy and Wink brought us back to a place untouched by civilisation, where human and nature coexisted. They called the place “Bathtub”, every day’s a holiday there. However, Wink and other parents alike at the Bathtub were anxious to show their children what it takes to “be a man” – knowing how to cook, how to catch a fish with bare hands and how to “beast up” a crab – preparing them for the big storm that could strike and drown the Bathtub.

It might seem odd, or maybe even otherworldly, to watch a masculine mom teaching a bunch of girls how to “man up” themselves in order to survive. But on second thought, the sense of otherworldliness is simply constructed and almost a sexist one. Survival is the most primitive instinct of human, and for that matter, all forms of life. For those of us who are lucky enough to live in the cocoon of civilisation, we are automatically stripped of our basic survival skills: we don’t need to hunt for food, cook or even walk any more  How else are we going to weather any adversity, let alone surviving it, if we are the bunch that would be so vulnerable to even the most irrelevant man-made catastrophe – an internet or facebook breakdown? So what’s wrong with teaching kids some survival skills? Remember what’s Hushpuppy’s mom’s advice to little Hush? “I can’t take care of no body but myself.”

"You're my friend, sort of."

“You’re my friend, sort of.”

Hushpuppy fantasized about the Aurochs – the pre-historic, ruthless and oversized boar. The were the king of the forest in the past. When Hushpuppy, fearless and naive, met the Aurochs, she told them, “you’re my friend, sort of.” The Aurochs then kneeled and sleept besides Hushpuppy. After all, no matter how “manned up” we are, all we look for is just love and connection – even for a ruthless beast.

Even the tiniest piece goes wrong, it all falls apart.

Even the tiniest piece goes wrong, it all falls apart.

Let me leave you with this quote from Hushpuppy and the spirit that led her to her long-lost mother,

“When it all goes quiet behind my eyes, I see everything that made me, flying around in invisible pieces. When I look too hard, it goes away. But when it all goes quiet, I see they are right here, I see that I’m a little piece of a big big universe, and that makes things right.”