The movie starts off with Ree Dolly; a young girl aged seven, who is charged with responsibility of taking care of her two younger siblings and a mentally ill mother. She ensures the siblings have something to eat as well as teaches them hunting and cooking in a bit to make them self-reliant. Her father, Mr. Jessup apparently left home, never to be seen after he was released on bail following an arrest on allegations that he had been involved in the manufacture of crack (Woodrell, 2006).
The court date is almost due and Ree is told that they might lose their house should her father fail to show up. Apparently, the house had been put as part of the release bond. This prompts Ree to set off on a journey into the unknown, to look for her father. She begins from the close family relatives and goes further to distant family relations. She doesn’t find him. At some point, she is told that her father died.
Ree is given a week notice after which their house is to be taken. On her attempt to get the intervention of local crime boss, Ree is brutally assaulted and beaten up by women of his family only to be rescued by Teardrop. Teardrop subsequently informs Ree that his accomplices for fear that he could have betrayed them to the law killed her father.
At the end of the movie, the women who beat her up take Ree to her father’s remains. She brings the hands of her dead and decaying father to the sheriff as proof that Jessup is indeed dead. Without her knowledge, Jessup had left