|The primary poster of a film depicts the one image the film makers want the potential viewer to have locked within their mind of what will be communicated by the inner-conflict the film will present or the success story or some combination. The visualization of a little black girl with sparklers invokes the day Americans celebrate our Independence, the 4th Of July; for this reason, and because the liberal media portrays the black population has being thoroughly behind Obama and socialism, I did initially react to this as portraying a new independence from capitalism and the traditions of America; instead, in the context of the entire film, it becomes a re-affirmation of everything America stands for and who Americans are and that Hushpuppy is an American, not a socialist. The primary device of the film, magical realism made famous by authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, involves basically two elements of the film: the aurochs--a mythical beast frozen in the Arctic ice caps that comes to Hushpuppy's bayou community, and the ship Grumpy she gets on to go in search of her mother at the floating catfish shack, both elements exceeding the realm of reality (and both discussed further below). Why did film makers chose to include this device? For at least two reasons: one, the the sense of something greater at work in the universe is required to validate Hushpuppy's choice at the end, that it's the greater good she chooses and she recognizes it; secondly, that greater good is also working for Hushpuppy. She's not alone in the universe, and by virtue of being part of the universe, she's important.|
Now, back to Wink.
Irene Adler vs Mary Morstan: The Women Of Sherlock Holmes for more, and the discussion extends into the comments section). There is another dimension to this name, as well: "wink" could signal a lack of self-reflection. For a six-year-old, Hushpuppy seems to have a grounded awareness of what is going on and who she is, an awareness Wink seems to lack and, because eyesight often refers symbolically to one's inner-wisdom (the ability to "see" beyond mere appearances), his name--the conveyor of his identity--conveys his lack of identity.
What does this mean?
It probably goes back to that ancient idea that if you eat your enemy, you gain power from eating that enemy. Since an alligator was going to threaten Wink, eating the gator demonstrates that threat was overcome and visualizes the dominance gained (what we have been discussing with Hushpuppy overcoming the aurochs and the threat they present). So why doesn't Hushpuppy kill the aurochs the way Hushpuppy Mama kills the gator? Because the aurochs will remain as a part of Hushpuppy to keep her pushing for the rest of her life thereby expanding her strength to live the way she should; the gator/devil was threatening to take Wink's life and so had to be killed but the aurochs will continue to give Hushpuppy life as long as she responds correctly to their presence (she responds to challenges and hardships in her life instead of giving up).
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner