‘We Are the Flesh’ Thursts Shock & Art Into A Dying Sub-Genre
If I were to describe ‘We Are the Flesh‘ as nauseating, it would honestly be a compliment to director Emiliano Rocha Minter. I believe the intention of the piece is to make you to feel uncomfortable. The plot is unhinged, the cinematography dizzies, and the acting performances are wild. But when it was all said and done, I love this movie.
The overall direction of ‘We Are the Flesh‘ is reminiscent to films from Takashi Miike, Lars Von Trier, and Gaspar Noé. I can see Emiliano Rocha Minter taking notes from those provocateurs but adding something different to the mix. Instead of any normal narrative, the newcomer gives puzzling moments that loosely tie together. Any sort of horror genre convention in these films is replaced with shock art and surrealism.
To say there’s never been a “post-apocalyptic” film like this would be an understatement. ‘We Are the Flesh‘ pushes the boundaries of decency a few times but to me, it never undercut the tension. It only added to how insanity of everything else happening. I applaud anyone who can tolerate the mayhem in this; arthouse horror fans know what to expect but it will scare off anyone expecting a straightforward genre piece.
Need an example of why it could bring some detractors? Within 30 minutes, the story decides to take a dark turn. The two siblings who stumble upon a crazy hermit are coerced into sex with each other. This moment isn’t even a quick scene, it’s a very graphic long segment with un-simulated sex. It doesn’t even happen once! In a very strange way though, it gives ‘We Are the Flesh‘ a distinct vibe.
Trying to quickly re-tell the story wouldn’t do it justice. After years of wandering around a ruined city, siblings (Maria Evoli and Diego Gamaliel) stumble upon a wild hermit (Noé Hernández) that lets them stay if they do EXACTLY what he says. I touched on the incest sub-plot but it goes further. ‘We are the Flesh‘ is something you have to see for yourself.
“Something like love doesn’t exist. Only demonstrations of love.”
The centerpiece of the film is the wonderfully insane performance from Noé Hernández. He opens the film with a literal bang and has such an amazing on-screen presence. All of the acting was fine but Hernández brought something great to everything he did…even if it was gross or violent. It’s always a joy to see an actor give such a raw and revealing performance like this. Noé Hernández holds nothing back and I commend that.
Another star of this show is cinematography. From the beautiful camera work to the vibrant colors, the visuals of ‘We Are the Flesh‘ feels like a character in itself. Almost every shot in this film feels like artwork with so much to take in from a single frame. Work like this usually comes from seasoned pros but director Emiliano Rocha Minter and cinematographer Yollótl Alvarado seem wise beyond their years.
I’m certain tons of people will be offended and yes, this is shock for shock sake but there’s no shame in that. I believe any of the nasty antics within ‘We Are the Flesh‘ are backed with amazing acting and masterful filmmaking. In film school, they told us “in order to break the rules, you have to know them first.” Well, director Emiliano Rocha Minter knew all the rules and tried to break every last one of them.
Not everyone film will be made for everyone and this is one of those films. But for the people who crave shock cinema, ‘We Are the Flesh‘ comes with a high recommendation!
Synopsis: After wandering a ruined city for years, two siblings enter a building and find a man who makes them a dangerous offer.
Directed By: Emiliano Rocha Minter
Starring: Noé Hernández, Maria Evoli, and Diego Gamaliel