In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the stories of homes and lives lost to the storm weigh heavily on our hearts.
After a screening and Q&A in Queens, New York this past weekend, The Wall Street Journal asked Benh Zeitlin (a native New Yorker) about the hurricane and its timely connection to Beasts.
WSJ: Hurricane Sandy left many communities around here devastated. In “Beasts,” a woman from the Bathtub warns young kids about the future of our planet.
BZ: For me, this film wasn’t about the past, it was about the future. When I was writing the film it was in 2008 when we had Gustav and Ike, really bad hurricanes not in New Orleans but in the South where we shot the film. It was inspired by a moment of just realizing that storms used to come every 100 years, then they came every 50 years, now it’s like every three years. It was really about a future where storms are a perpetual threat.
I do feel South Louisiana is the first place to deal with this, but that’s what it is, the first. The world is changing, the planet is changing, and this is something that’s going to become a big part of everybody’s lives. It’s crazy to come up here and see the same thing happen in a place where no one was prepared for it or expecting it.
WSJ: Have people mentioned to you that “Beasts” resonates even more now, post-Sandy?
BZ: Somebody just came in a second ago, he was out in Rockaway today. I was down in Red Hook today helping people clean up. I think it’s going to change the conversation about the film. In Louisiana, people have internalized that this is happening and that they have to survive. Now that’s going to be here too, and it’s not the last story. Part of the reason we made the film as a fable and not as a documentary is that we wanted it to be a story that could travel and be universal and apply to people who live in all kinds of different places because it’s something everyone’s going to have to deal with. -- BZ
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(Image via Tim Larsen/New Jersey Governor's Office)