We Are the Flesh

Tenemos la carne (original title) Language: Spanish
Unrated | 1h 19min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 20 January 2017 (USA)

Synopsis: After wandering a ruined city for years in search of food and shelter, two siblings find their way into one of the last remaining buildings. Inside, they find a man who will make them a dangerous offer to survive the outside world.

Review: When my critic mates returned from last years Fantastic Fest one film in particular stuck with them; WE ARE THE FLESH. It was difficult for them to clearly explain it to me and now that I have seen it for myself I understand why. In fact I am not sure this review will be able to completely describe it. I will break it down as best I can but know that only seeing is truly believing.

When we first meet Mariano (Noé Hernández) he is instantly intriguing. He is mixing up a concoction that gives you the idea that he must have some understanding of the sciences. Or he is just truly mad. As the film progresses you still never quite know if he is enlightened or, well, truly mad. Hernandez embraces the insane though in his facial expressions and ramblings. It is by far one of the most riveting and mesmerizing performances I have seen in some time. I hope Noe was acting because if not I am worried this guy is walking among us.

Mariano lives in solitude until a brother (Diego Gamaliel) and sister (María Evoli) stumble upon his destitute dwelling looking for food and shelter. It is then that the characters begin this mind warping decline into a word of depravity and subconscious realism. The sister is particularly susceptible to Mariano’s power and Evoli gives us an unapologetic performance of a woman on the brink of madness (if that is even the right definition of her mindset).

Writer/Director Emiliano Rocha Minter creates a world that no drug could ever manifest. He works in the small area of Mariano’s living quarters but makes it feel expansive.  Just when you think he has gone too far with the shock and visual assault he takes it to the next level. There were more than a few times that I had to watch out of the corner of my eye to filter out the blunt force trauma of what was on screen. Many would label it perverse and pornographic and I guess in the true definition it is. But at the same time he has invited you into his world and you have to accept the way things are. The performances by the trio of actors also helps to solidify the content as something far deeper than what we are seeing. Minter is making some sobering points if you listen.

The Cinematography by Yollótl Alvarado is another reason this film is so gripping. As I mentioned earlier there is no way to completely describe what transpires on screen. It is an art style and like most art it isn’t for everyone. The film is unrated but be very cautious of the content. It contains strong, graphic sexual content, graphic nudity, adult imagery and dark themes. If you consider that just another Tuesday at your house then you will be fine. But for most the content and visuals will be unpleasing and unwatchable. I give it 3.5 out of 5 cartons of eggs. It was visually assaulting and not sure I could watch it again. But I have to applaud the cast for embracing what was given to them and delivering characters that stayed with me for hours after.