I love dissent but I also think there is a missing element to the personal criticism of the filmaker. (And for a review this does seem oddly personal)
This film was based on Lucy Alibar's stage play (Benh is actually a co-writer) entitled "Juicy and Delicious". She is from the rural South - Southern Georgia. The film, at its core, is based on her relationship with her father and her difficulty in coming to terms with his mortality. So, I think the depictions of this specific community may have less to do with Benh's "guilt" and more about amplifying Lucy's personal experience married to whatever research was done by both writers for the film adaptation.
I wonder how you might have reviewed this film if the depiction of rural people didn't come across as offensive to you. If the theme and story of the piece would have popped more and have allowed you to comment on that aspect.
Obviously, it's fine if you don't like the film because of the technical or creative elements. Or the story itself even. It was a first effort on many counts for the filmakers, cast and crew. I think that is what also added to the excitement of it for me as a viewer. If you are looking for a specific type of structure I simply don't believe that the goal was to make a 'neat' film. I wouldn't recommend it if you are in need of a tight script with a traditional arc.
The overall through line that I got was that life is big and messy. The complications of dealing with life, death and survival are messy. Be prepared for the ugliness of those compilations. Having said that I didn't think that the father was a 'bad parent' at all. He was both protecting her from the inevitable and preparing his daughter to survive in the world without him. I saw so much love in this film. Love for the fact that human beings, just as any other "beasts" of the world share in the delicate balance of the world. That we are a piece of a bigger picture. And love of a father and a daughter.
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