WE ARE THE FLESH WALKS THE FINE LINE BETWEEN ART AND GARABGE
Art house cinema is a tricky thing. These type of films allow the director to let loose on celluloid, throw every idea they want at the viewer, and hope that it’ll make sense. Some filmmakers do their best to translate their vision into a cohesive movie, while some other filmmakers make something incoherent; a series of images, events, dialogues, and situations that you cannot make heads or tails of. Unfortunately for first time director Emiliano Rocha Minter, his feature debut, We Are the Flesh, falls in the latter category.
The movie tells the story of Mariano (Noé Hernández), a vagrant who has found a way to survive by bartering home-made gas for whatever food he can get. He encounters and eventually befriends a pair of siblings who are in need of food and shelter. He agrees to let them stay with him, as long as they help him construct a sanctuary room in his abandoned building.
That’s the best I could do in trying to summarize this thing to you. I did not like this movie one bit. There were no redeeming qualities I could find, aside maybe the character of Mariano, who was super out there and extremely interesting. As I mentioned before, this is the first time Minter is directing a feature film, and boy did it show. The movie makes no fucking sense. There is no way of knowing what time period the movie is taking place, as well as having no explanation of the setting. Is their world a wasteland? Where are all the people? Was there a catastrophic event? What are they building? Why are they building it? WHO HAS THE ANSWERS???! So many questions, little to no answers. Listen, I get you’re doing art house, but at least make the shit follow a narrative of some kind. Throwing images on the screen to shock and awe doesn’t work these days. We’re saturated with violent and provocative imagery on a daily basis and unfortunately for this movie, it’s not breaking any ground.
The character of Mariano was one of the only highlights of this flick. He was able to steal every scene he was in, and was the driving force of the movie. He had a type of Dark Knight Joker vibe to him– he seemed to want to start shit, while spitting out words of crazy knowledge. The character had a dependency on some sort of psychoactive drug the filmmaker never got into, but every time he’d take some drops of this liquid, the dude would trip out: Those were some of the best moments in the movie. The siblings, played by Maria Evoli and Diego Gamaliel weren’t terrible, but they both lacked depth and motive. SPOILER ALERT… More depth of the story would’ve aided in understanding why these siblings turn to incest midway through the movie.
The blood and gore in this flick are minimal but effective. There’s a pretty nice throat slitting scene in the third act where the poor sap gets exsanguinated over a bucket– very nice. The other visuals in this flick were made up of gratuitous crotch shots, masturbation, and a whole lot of shots of the characters taping up boxes.
We Are the Flesh is without question art house horror. Visually, I can easily make the comparison to Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, but that’s about it. The lack of story depth and the non-existent plot make this art house romp all filler, no killer. Lastly, the name is all wrong– the title of the film in Spanish is Tenemos La Carne, which directly translates to We Have the Flesh, not We Are the Flesh, which looking back actually makes more sense given the crazy conclusion of the film. You can slap all the crotch shots and blood you want on this thing, but it will not hide the fact that this movie sucked. //Arturo Padilla