I have seen a lot of unusual films, but We Are The Flesh (directed by Emiliano Rocha Minter) must be one of the most bizarre. The best way I could describe this Mexican film is post-apocalyptic and Kafkaesque embroiled in dark fantasy.
A seemingly adolescent brother (Diego Gamaliel) and his seemingly adolescent sister (Maria Evoli) roam a ruined city, they chance upon a derelict apartment block, and in one of the apartments a solitary psychopathic middle aged male (Noe Hernandez) is constructing his own sinister and grotesque universe. It’s hard to make too much sense of this film, for example at the beginning of the film the psychopath male is making a weird brew of bread and liquid in a plastic barrel. Why, we never really find out. So far so David Lynch.
The brother and sister walk in to the psychopath male’s apartment, where he proceeds to hold them hostage and entice them in to his odd world. This involves the brother and sister assisting the psychopath male in constructing a weirdly landscaped interior of gaffa tape and card board, transforming the apartment into a cave like dwelling. The brother and sister are made to act out a number of the psychopath male’s disturbing and sadistic fantasies, which includes a significant amount of graphic sexual scenes, eating weird and unspecifiable meat, menstruation, and eventually a total abandon to all out orgy.
I have to be honest, I wasn’t really sure of the point of this film, and there were times where I was considering stopping watching it. I noted it ran for just under 80 minutes so I thought I would stick with it. Whilst I generally enjoy watching surreal and weird films, I found this film too extreme and sleazy. I may have missed the point of the film. On reflection I wondered if the film was saying something about how psychotic the world has become, but also the willingness of the adolescent siblings to comply with the psychopathic male’s fantasies. In truth it was all a bit much for me. However, this film might appeal to the tastes of some viewers.
In the 1970s there was a genre of cinema that became known as the Midnight Movie, where cinema goers attended cinemas at night to watch off beat exploitation type films; Alejandro Jodorowsky's surrealist El Topo is perhaps the best known of this genre. We Are The Flesh is in some regards a homage to this style of film making. We Are The Flesh does have tones of black comedy, but it really pushes way beyond the limits of social acceptability. Perhaps this is the point of the film. But for myself, the film had no real point, and I could make no sense of it. I wouldn’t recommend it, but that might say more about me than the film.
The DVD and Blu-ray also contain a video essay by critic Virginie Selavy, interviews with the director and cast members, aswell as two short films by Emiliano Rocha Minter; Dentro and Videohome.
On DVD and Blu-ray, released on Monday 13th February 2017 by Arrow Video.