Film Guide for Submission

ENGL 2130—Beasts of the Southern Wild
Film Guide
Instructions: Answer each of the following questions about the film; cite specific textual details
when pertinent. Remember to be active, thoughtful readers and consider the material
critically. Your performance here will count in place of the Literary Context exam.
1. The film opens in the Louisiana bayou community known as the Bathtub. What is the
landscape like? The setting of the coastal community? The culture?
2. What is the nature of the lessons the children study at school in the Bathtub? Why does it
matter? What is Bathsheba like as a teacher?
3. What kind of imaginary life does Hushpuppy create for herself? How and to what extent
does this concern her absent mother, her sick father, and her own legacy?
4. What are the layers of damage caused by the Katrina-like storm in the film? What is
significant here?
5. What is her father, Wink, like? What kind of lessons does he convey to her? In what way
does he convey those and why?
6. Hushpuppy and her community are forcefully evacuated to the “Open Arms Processing
Center.” What is this environment like? How are they treated? How does Hushpuppy view it?
7. Why does the group make the choice to escape and return to the barren, devastated
landscape of the Bathtub?
8. Why do the girls go on a quest? What do the girls, especially Hushpuppy, find at “Elysian
9. What are the aurochs? What do you think they have come to symbolize in the story? How
does Hushpuppy tame them?
10. What do you make of Wink’s death and funeral? What is at stake with keeping her promise
to her father?
11. Take a few moments after the film and reflect on the following: how is it about both toxic
ecology and toxic inequality? How do these issues come together?
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