Review: We Are the Flesh
Blu-ray + DVD: We Are The Flesh (2016)
Three words (and an interrobang…more on being pretentious later) that could be the entire review for this movie. My work here is done. Goodbye.
What? You want more?
Okay then, here’s a few more words for you: incest, ejaculation, cannibalism, erections, nudity and necrophilia. Starting to feel uncomfortable yet?
I shall elaborate even more for you. In all my years of movie watching I have seen many things, but never had I seen a girl menstruate into her bothers open mouth before. Now I have. Thank you for that We Are the Flesh.
By now you are either intrigued or disgusted (or God forbid, turned on!), but will hopefully have been enticed to want to keep reading. Which is entirely how you will feel when watching this Mexican art house offering from writer/director Emiliano Rocha Minter. With trembling finger hovering over the ‘stop’ button of your remote control, the series of bizarre events and imagery unfolding before you has a strange hypnotic effect that keeps you glued to the screen while all the time thinking, “it can’t get any weirder than this“. But yes folks, it does. A lot weirder.
Diego Gamaliel and María Evoli play a brother and sister who are offered shelter from the ruined city in which they have been aimlessly wandering, by a man (Noé Hernández) whose intentions are FAR from being a good Samaritan.
Now embroiled in a relationship with a man that holds their very existence in his hands, the brother and sister must submit to a series of bizarre and humiliating experiences that escalate to the ultimate submission of the flesh.
We Are the Flesh is definitely not the sort of movie that you could catch at your local multiplex on a weekend afternoon. If it did, I could well imagine the in-house coffee shop becoming packed within minutes of the movie starting as people walked out of the screen and needed a triple-shot caffeine hit to calm their fried nerves. This is art house cinema through and through. Now depending on how you feel about this particular style of cinema, you may already be substituting the words ‘art house’ for ‘pretentious’, ‘boring’, or even ‘shite’. If you are one of those people then I can guarantee that We Are the Flesh will not change your opinion of this style of filmmaking and you can immediately move on. However…
There is something indefinable about We Are the Flesh which has been wriggling at the back of my mind like a fetid worm since I watched it 48 hours ago. The sum of its parts far outweighs the close up shots of male and female genitalia, the lingering (and often used) shots of masturbation, and the gratuitous use of blood pouring from openings (both natural and otherwise) of willing and unwilling flesh. Despite no real ‘story’, metaphors and symbolism aplenty (both subtle and otherwise) that you may or may not be bothered to acknowledge, the visual madness unfolding before you somehow draws you deeper into its unrelenting grip.
All is enhanced with a score by Esteban Aldete which throbs and pulsates like the writhing flesh that so very often engulfs the screen. The picture quality is superb too, and every twitch of the brothers testicles can be seen so clearly, it is like watching a BBC underwater documentary where a flesh coloured anemone retreats from its predator…at least that is where my mind went to try and keep a semblance of sanity while watching this.
We Are the Flesh will appeal to only a niche market, of which this review may or may not have helped you whether to decide to buy it or not. I for one will definitely be revisiting it again. Did I enjoy it? To be totally honest I’m not sure. Did it intrigue me and have me thinking about it a lot since viewing it? Hell yeah! Accompanied by an always excellent set of extra features, this release from Arrow Films may not be to your liking, but it certainly can’t be ignored.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- 5.1 surround and uncompressed stereo 2.0 audio options
- Optional English subtitles
- A new video essay by critic Virginie Sélavy
- New interviews with director Emiliano Rocha Minter and cast members Noé Hernández, María Evoli and Diego Gamaliel
- Two short films by Emiliano Rocha Minter; Dentro and Videohome
- Original theatrical trailer
- Stills gallery
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Anton Bitel, and a note from the producer on the film.
Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films.