Viewer’s Guide to Beasts of the Southern Wild, FAQ

Q: Wow, was that movie as good as I think it was?
A: Wait until tomorrow morning. You’ll love it even more.

Q: But I’m not sure it made much sense…
A: That’s why it’s so great! At every turn it says, “No, my dear, you may not take this literally. You must feel your way into any meaning that might or might not be here.”

Q: What are you talking about?
A: The movie’s impossibilities confuse your linear, logical, analytical mind just enough that it quiets down, making space for other faculties, such as imagination, courage, love, beauty–things that make no sense and yet make life worth living.

Q: Still, all that fuss for a bit of fried crocodile?
A: You could pretend the fried crocodile is an elixir brought back from the underworld. You could pretend it’s unevolved reptilian energy transformed into a substance humans can digest to fuel the soul’s evolution. You could pretend it’s something else. And you could pretend it’s fried crocodile, all at the same time.

Q: Ok, but was that woman Hushpuppy’s mother or not? She couldn’t be, because, come on, what are the odds? On the other hand, how could she not be?
A: Exactly! It’s one of the movie’s many mysteries that stand in for The Mystery. Criminy, it’s enough to restore your faith in film. That does it, I’ve got to go watch it again.