There are some films that hit you with such an emotional sledgehammer that it becomes difficult to put its effect into words. Beasts of the Southern Wild is that kind of movie.
The film ostensibly focuses on 6-year old Hushpuppy, played by Quvenzhané Wallis, who lives with her father Wink and a collective of people who live in a place they call the Bathtub, off the southern coast of Louisiana. I say the film is ostensibly about her and her family, because it's also about what happens when a group of people go up against the forces of the universe and win. Partly through sheer force of will and solidarity, but also due to a worldview where continuing the struggle is itself a victory.
The people of the Bathtub face a number of foes. From sickness and storms to government forces, the community is forced to make their way through any number of seemingly unbeatable forces. Yet, when the audience sees the problems through the eyes of a child such as Hushpuppy, somehow all those problems become manageable. Because Hushpuppy believes something that gives her hope: "I see that I am a little piece of a big, big universe, and that makes it right."
That's a message more people should be able to get hope from. Hushpuppy, believing so strongly in the force of her own existence, insists that children living a million years from now would study her, her father, and life in the Bathtub. That she lives off the grid, basically forgotten by the society the adults in her life have chosen to reject, doesn't matter. It's what comes next, the people she knows don't even exist yet and the balance in the universe as a whole, that matters to Hushpuppy.
"The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the smallest piece... the whole universe will get busted."
With stakes like that, it's no wonder that Hushpuppy knows the power in just having belief in yourself can help you make it against the forces of the world: "Strong animals know when your hearts are weak."
It's hard to keep going when it seems like the universe is against you. Because many tend to focus on the results, rather than the struggle of just trying. Maybe if a few more people took Hushpuppy's strength to heart, we'd all be better for it.