White People Doing Black Cinema?

Posted: September 7, 2012 in -
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The darling of predominantly white middle class festival audiences, Beasts of the Southern Wild, has not met with universal adoration. I haven’t seen the film, but a scathing review at New Black Man in Exile: No Love in the Wild, by Bell Hooks (long).

At the center of this spectacle is the continuous physical and emotional violation of the body and being of a small six year old black girl called Hushpuppy (played by the ten year old actress Quzenhane Wallis). While she is portrayed as continuously resisting and refusing to be a victim, she is victimized. Subject to both romanticization as a modern primitive and eroticization, her plight is presented as comically farcical…

It is a major mystery that moviegoers adore this film and find it deeply moving and entertaining. Amid many real life tragedies of adult violation of children (i.e. Penn State,) violations that subject small children to verbal abuse, physical and psychological violence’ sexual assault, it is truly a surreal imagination that can look past the traumatic abuse Hushpuppy endures and be mesmerized and entertained by Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Ultimately this film expresses a conservative agenda… But there is nothing radical about the age-old politics of domination the movie espouses – insisting that only the strong survive, that disease weeds out the weak (i.e. the slaughter of Native Americans,) that nature chooses excluding and including.

full article

  1. John says:

    I just read your review of the film in Counterpunch. Not even a mention of (any of) the points brought forth by hooks? Or of the many great critical comments on NBM?

  2. Editor says:


    This is a link to a review of Beasts of the Southern Wild, (which I never reviewed).

    Who is this directed to? And which Counterpunch post?

  3. John says:

    Oh crap…my bad…cyber mix up. The review in Counterpunch is by Kim Nicolini…I startpaged her and came to this blog (her Django Unchained review). Mistakenly thought it was her blog. Feel free to delete my comment if that’s possible.

  4. Editor says:

    It’s okay. We post articles from Kim, and a lot of others too.

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