When you stray off the mainstream horror path and look for something different, there are some dangerous destinations to find. The extremes of Asian horror can test your limits, and movies that are extreme just for shock value can even test your taste for gore, and your stomach. There are some though that test your patience, but if you manage to sit through them, may just have an impact. This is the case with We Are the Flesh.
In We Are the Flesh we see three people, the old hermit (Noé Hernández) and a young brother and sister (Diego Gamaliel and Maria Evoli). When the two youngsters happen on the old hermit, he allows them to stay in his home and gives them food and shelter. Helping him build a cave like structure, they soon start a journey into the darker side of the soul as they build a new reality for themselves.
While I call it the darker side of the soul, this probably too simple a description. What the three characters do is to move away from what we see as the normality of society, and to break down into their own world where desires are enjoyed, no matter how surreal and dark they may be. The hermit, Mariano, is almost a devil-type character that pushes his society into acts that are not only illegal, but also frowned upon in the outside world. This is the “new society” though and anything goes.
To go into detail of what happens in We Are the Flesh would of course be spoilers, but I do feel that Emiliano Rocha Minter as director and writer of the piece will test many people with this film. It is very much an “art-house” film which is something of a warning in itself, which means you really have to be in the mood for the surrealism you will witness.
In ways, it reminds me of the type of “art” that Lars von Trier throws on the screen, and something I am actually a fan of. Seen as an attempt to shock, if you understand his vision then his films like Anti-Christ and Nymphomaniac do have some meaning to them. There is a similarity with what Emiliano Rocha Minter is trying to do with We Are the Flesh, and there is a fine line between just trying to shock, and having focus. In some ways We Are the Flesh is very good, but in others it detaches the viewer from the experience by the pretentious nature of being more about art than an actual film experience.
We Are the Flesh is a film about being re-born into a new reality and giving up the morality of what we see as the “real world”. The three main characters live by their desires and go through a metamorphosis of a kind, which shows a hatred of what the world outside theirs has become. It does make you wonder though what the cost is of this brave new world of no inhibitions really is.
I do admit that I like We Are the Flesh, but I also know that it is hard work to watch. There is a hardcore nature to the film and the imagery it puts on the screen and if anything, it tests your patience and your intelligence with what it is showing, and will also test many stomachs. While I’m not sure that Emiliano Rocha Minter has a message with the film, he does have a focus and vision that is very unique, and that is the reason to watch the film.
We Are the Flesh is released on Arrow Video Blu-ray in the UK from February 13th.