19 October 2012 2:24 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This Malick-inspired response to Hurricane Katrina, about a six-year-old bayou-dweller and her father, has ambition and poetry to burn

Benh Zeitlin's debut feature is part film, part hallucination: a ripe and gamey piece of what you might call Apocalyptic Southern Gothic, ambitious and flawed but sprinting with energy. It's set at the time of the Katrina catastrophe – though it could as well be happening hundreds of years in the future, when much-prophecied climate calamities have come to pass. At other times it looks like some sort of modern-dress re-enactment of the distant biblical flood.

The setting is a fictional bayou territory, partly modelled on the real Isle de Jean Charles in southern Louisiana, the kind of place where, in another, more heartless type of movie, yuppies might ask for directions or gasoline from sinister locals inscrutably playing a mean banjo on their crumbling porch. This place is an eerily beautiful wetland called The Bathtub, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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