Quvenzhané Wallis is adorable playing Hushpuppy; yes, all characters have a mystical name, her alcoholic father is Wink(Dwight Henry), and her “teacher” is Miss Bathsheba(Gina Montana). Her father’s goal is to keep Hushpuppy alive, and her’s to keep her father kicking, cause the ol’ man dies a few times already! and she is getting fed up of the crying wolf. He didn’t give her a fish, but he teaches her to catch a fish, so that she will learn to be self-sustained.
They live in the inhuman trailer-shacks, she on one side and daddy on the other side. There are chickens, dog, hog, and animals… I cringed as I watched and couldn’t help but thinking of E-coli and Salmonella. Perhaps, this is the reaction the director, Benh Zeitlin, wants me to feel being middle-class and privileged?! If so, I only need to turn on the TV on sunday mornings and watch third-world children needing food and water with celebrities beside them… at least those situations are real, perhaps?! And if I want to see such appalling conditions in US, I did see the ABC’s documentary of the Children of the Appalachian Mountains.
Thankfully, this is a fable mixed with plausible events: flooded delta areas in the Southern states, single parenthood, alcoholism, communal alcoholism, voodoo, foul mouths, poor language, magical gator meat… and Hushpuppy is the six-year old with strong courage to survive that takes us down this journey: Guilt.
Quvenzhané Wallis is camera attractive, and I love her narrating her tales and the interluded impeding doom that her teacher told her about the melting ice of south pole and the Rise of the Aurochs from their hibernation to eat all that come across their paths… but she earned their respect and spared her life so that the scientist of the future will know Hushpuppy once lived with her daddy in the Bathtub (the delta region is so named in this fable).
I SKIPPED through it, because any child being put through such condition is a crime…period.