How can the power of storytelling build public awareness of the struggles of immigrant and low-wage workers? In recent years, storytelling has proven a strong tool for achieving social change, and this practice has been particularly prevalent among immigrants and low wage workers.
Volume 31, Number 1 114, Spring 2013.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is up for an Oscar this weekend. It has been widely celebrated by critics, both high- and lowbrow.
After the opening shot of a dilapidated house, Beasts of the Southern Wild begins mise-en-scène with a tight close-up of the house's interior, the screen filled with small brown crossed legs, a cluttered dirty floor, and a small brown hand holding a dirty bowl, and pouring water on a mound of dirt. The camera pans up and we see the hand belongs to a little girl who is holding in her other hand a baby bird that she places gently in the dirt clod she's been molding.
This film should have been a choice text for me; I love post-apocalyptic stories that end badly. But the heaps of critical praise the film has garnered don't even seem to notice it as a dystopia. "This movie is a blast of sheer, improbable joy," writes the New York Times, and calls it a great film to see for July 4, as it is "animated by the same spirit of freedom it sets out to celebrate." It also likens Hushpuppy to a new Huck Finn.