As mentioned in an earlier post, energy and water are connected. Climate change (induced mostly by the energy sector) makes this connection all the more apparent since global warming manifests itself primarily through distortions to the global water cycle, making droughts and floods more extreme and more frequent.
The film Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) taps into some of these connections. The film is many things, including a fantasy revolving around climate change, a fierce storm, and sea level rise. The story shares the experience of one fictional community fighting to maintain their way of life in a floodplain. In this fantasy world, which is reminiscent of modern-day coastal Louisiana, we see hardships and challenges through a small child’s eyes in the form of collapsing ice caps and stampedes of ice age beasts – her interpretation of an apocalyptic lesson of floods, melting ice caps and past extinctions from the local teacher/medicine woman.
A powerful and visually compelling film, this allegorical tale touches on many issues (climate, water and life, water and death, freedom, poverty, the wealth gap, the richness and fragility of nature, the sterility of modern life, love, loss, survival, parent-child relationships, …) in a quasi-fantasy, quasi-real way. Articulating the whole film in succinct, coherent thoughts related to energy is difficult. Instead, I’ll just note that its integral treatment of climate change is compelling and potentially influential.