The James Beard Foundation interviewed producer Josh Penn about the role of food in Beasts of the Southern Wild and within film in general.
JP: So much of the culture in the Louisiana bayou is about food, and more specifically, living off the water. It’s intertwined with everything, it defines the community, and is something that we really wanted to capture. Our first day of shooting was actually the day of the BP oil spill. Most people in the area live off the water in some way or another, and the spill threatened their entire lifestyle—because whether or not it’s your livelihood, it’s still the source of what you eat. It’s what’s all around you. It really underscored how food is interwoven into every aspect of life there. And the approach to food and how it should be eaten would obviously be different if we were telling a story about another community. I’m sure they eat crabs pretty differently on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Read the full interview here.