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“Beasts of the Southern Wild” | Negrophile

The storm is bigger than the story until the story is bigger than the storm. An event starts out small, in inklings and hints. It drifts in on breezes and sifts into consciousness before shifting into view. Once it takes a shape large enough, it solicits and demands re-tellings just like every myth you’ve ever heard of, or every historical document left by someone once alive who sought to project evidence of having been.

It expands along with the rest of the universe (a word I should be sick of, given how often I heard it in the theater today) and evokes precursor works: “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” or “Where The Wild Things Are.” Not even a bathtub can hold it once it starts spilling over.

I’m left with images of aurochs whose post-“iced age” re-entry and impending arrival heralds undone worlds, a mamma who can light a stove just by walking past a counter’s edge, a father whose love makes him more visible even as life fades from his frame, a child who brings her own unique touch to domestic and foreign affairs.

I’m also left with magic tricks, beasted crabs, front-door splash-downs, holiday fireworks, pigs and cows and horses and birds, the dearly departed who leave to save themselves and the dearly beloved who stay to save what leaving would mean losing, or who know the extent to which loss is already a given, the biggest part and the whole point of ever having had.

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