Beasts of the Southern Wild [2012] [PG-13] - 3.5.5

 
 

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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
Profanity
1 to 10

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A six-year-old (Quvenzhane Wallis) lives in the Louisiana Delta nicknamed "The Bathtub" with her father (Dwight Henry). After a natural disaster and the failing health of her father, the young girl is faced with the reality of creating her own magical life. Also with Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes and Gina Montana. Directed by Benh Zeitlin. [1:31].

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Four girls and a fisherman dock in a boat advertising "Girls"; we see women wearing slips and dancing with men, and it is implied the boat is for prostitution (no nudity or sex is seen).
 A man asks his young daughter if she knew the story of her conception; the man then tells a story about how attractive the girl's mother was and we see a montage of a woman wearing brief-style underwear and no shirt (we see her bare back) shooting an alligator (the woman is covered in blood spray). On multiple occasions throughout the movie we see a girl wearing an undershirt and brief-style underwear with no pants. We see a girl wearing an undershirt and brief-style underwear, and her father shouts, "Get some pants on." We see a portion of a woman's upper thigh when she lifts her dress. We briefly see an older man without a shirt and his bare chest is visible.
 A woman crudely tells a man that an older man had tried to touch her breasts.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A girl in a trailer uses a flame-thrower to ignite a gas stovetop, we see the stovetop burning, the girl increases the gas, we hear a small explosion and see fire erupt as smoke fills the room; the girl hides under a box as the trailer fills with flames and smoke and the girl's father breaks into the trailer looking for her whereupon she comes out from under the box, unharmed.
 Three men load a giant fish carcass with explosives and tie it to a levy when a woman drives up in a boat and shouts at the men, punching one of them for trying to blow up the levy; the tripwire is pulled, causing the explosives to detonate and blow up a portion of the levy and we see an extended scene of water and debris falling (it is unclear if the people escaped unharmed).
 We see a man slowly dying, lying in a bed with his young daughter, and resting her head on his chest until his heartbeat stops; we later see the girl setting a boat on fire (a white sheet is seen covering what is implied to be the man's dead body).
 A man attacks a doctor, first shoving him and then attempting to tackle him; two other men grab the man and carry him away, as the man's young daughter has to be restrained by a woman. Several men grab a man and push him to the ground, and we see a girl being grabbed by another man as the first man (the girl's father) shouts that he will "kill" anyone that harms his daughter. A father becomes angry with his young daughter and chases her outside as she runs away; the man eventually catches her and slaps her, and the girl falls to the ground but stands up unharmed. A girl tells her father that she wishes he were dead, adding that she would eat birthday cake on his grave; she punches his chest and he falls to the ground (he appears dead), the girl panics and runs away, trying to find a way to help him, but when she returns she finds his body missing and she sees him later walking in the street unharmed. A man shouts at his daughter, telling her to "Shut up," and then grabs her by the waistband of her pants and carries her away. We see a woman brandish a tire iron at a group of men, and the men grab her and carry her away. A girl shoves a bus driver, shouting and pushing to open the doors of the bus in order to chase her father.
 Large mythical beasts appear (they are not clearly seen, but are massive) and rip through an abandoned town tearing down buildings. Four massive mythical beasts (they are giant pigs with what appear to be headdresses with tusks) chase four girls through a meadow; thee of the girls run away screaming, and the final girl stays and stares the beasts down until they lie down in surrender. We see a herd of massive mythical beasts eat a dead beast and we see blood on their snouts as a girl's voiceover explains that the beasts eat their own dead.
 A girl throws things around a ramshackle house until her father begins to throw toys at her, hitting her repeatedly; the girl throws them back and shouts at the man, she hides behind a cooler and emerges moments later when her father pours them a drink (please see the Substance Use category for more details). A man flips over a table where he and his young daughter were sitting.
 A girl examines a dead dog and we see its entrails pouring out of its body with blood and gore coming from its torso. Throughout most of the movie we see a flood ravaged area with houses flooded and a girl, her father and an older man are later seen in a boat, passing a bloated corpse of a cow and dead birds that the man scoops out of the water and puts in the boat. A man instructs his young daughter how to catch a fish with bare hands; the man catches a fish, instructs the girl to punch it, and the girl catches her hand on the fish's sharp fin and shouts in pain, but then watches her father punch the fish. As a man and his young daughter boat through a flooded city, the girl's voiceover explains that animals that were not saved were under the water, trying to breathe in the water. A woman butchers the tail of an alligator, reaching in and pulling out the meat. A man spits out pills, and we see drool coming from his mouth.
 Throughout the movie we are led to believe that a man is very ill (his illness is not explained): we see the man's torso with a surgical incision and a set of staples sticking out of it and we then see the man in hospital beds and being forced to take medication; he is seen in a hospital gown wandering in a field after being gone for days, a doctor tells the man that he is going to have to have surgery and the man interrupts him, saying he does not want the doctor to explain in front of his child, the man wheezes and appears to be unconscious until his young daughter pours herbs onto his mouth, he coughs and wakes up with a start, and the man coughs violently and collapses on the ground, coughing up blood. An older man walks out of a house into the deep waters of a flood.
 A man tells his young daughter to "be a beast" and use her hands to crack a crab, followed by a group of men, women and children chanting to the girl to "Be a beast"; we see the girl crack the crab in half victoriously.
 A girl's voiceover explains that she thinks animals sometimes are saying, "I gotta poop" when they are chirping. A woman crudely reprimands a man, telling him that he cannot even urinate on a levy without drawing attention. A girl tells her father that she can "burp like a man" and belches loudly. A man shouts at a room full of people, waving around an IV pole and shouting threats. A man tells his young daughter that he cannot "smack her in the face" on her side of a building, saying she is "lucky for that." A man shouts angrily at his young daughter. A man tells his young daughter that he is tasked with "keeping her from dying" during a storm, he then goes outside and shouts at the thunder and lightning and then fires a shotgun into the sky. A man shouts at an older man. A man shouts at a group of people, saying that a storm does not scare him. A man tells his young daughter that he is dying, the girl cries and he shouts at her, saying he can no longer take care of her. A girl asks her father when he will die and the man does not answer her question; the girl then asks when she will die, and the man explains that she will live for another hundred years. A dying man tells his young daughter that eventually everyone's father dies. As we see a dying man in a hospital bed, a girl's voiceover says that people allow "their animals" to be hooked to the walls when they're dying and that her father never wants to be hooked to a wall, but put in a boat and set on fire. A girl's voiceover says that she believes her father might kill her after she set fire to her trailer. As a group of men, women and children celebrate, a girl's voiceover explains that the people are having a funeral with no crying. A girl's voiceover explains that she believes that people are going to die after a flood. A girl narrator explains that she believes that people in an area are going to die after a flood, causing the entire town to disappear. A woman tells a group of children a myth about ancient animals, explaining that they would eat people if they were there today. A girl's voiceover says that she believes if ancient beasts were alive today she would not be a girl, but would "be breakfast." As a girl looks for her missing father, we hear her voiceover explain that she believes children without parents live in the forest and eat grass and have to steal underwear; the girl then adds that if her father does not appear soon that she will have to "start to eat her pets." A woman tells a group of children that the polar ice caps are melting and the area will soon flood, leaving them homeless.

PROFANITY 5 - At least 1 F-word, 4 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms (including a crude anatomical term used by a young girl), 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (bunch of babies, stupid little girl, stupid little waitress), 3 religious profanities, 3 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Throughout the movie we see men and women drinking beer and liquor, a man appears to be inebriated through most of the movie, a man pours a glass of liquor for himself and his young daughter (she takes a drink and makes a face), a girl drinks out of an unidentified bottle (it could be liquor), men and women drink in the streets, we see a woman passed out under a table after drinking in excess, and a man remarks that he "probably blacked out" after drinking.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Magical realism, death of a parent, denial, being separated from family, homelessness, belonging to a community, the Louisiana Delta, ancient animals/cave drawings, floods.

MESSAGE - Being part of a strong community is very important.

Special Keywords: S3 - V5 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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