We Are The Flesh
Arrow Video // Unrated // $29.95 // February 28, 2017
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted April 6, 2017
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
We Are The Flesh:
The world needs more extreme art-house cinema, and if We Are The Flesh is the type of art-house we can expect, I say bring it on! This shocking allegory is both transcendent and truculent, base, slimy, and beautiful. Full of fearless and freaky performances, you'll probably be enraptured and irritated in equal measure by We Are The Flesh, but you won't be disappointed.

Director Emiliano Rocha Minter draws from masters of the cinema of transgression for his allegorical fantasia, but it's not necessary to be familiar any of them (Jodorowsky, Passolini, Noe) to enjoy We Are The Flesh, all you need is a willingness to open your mind and move past the idea of shocks for shocks' sake. We Are The Flesh isn't an endurance test, like you may have thought. It's the simple story of a raggedy brother and sister (Diego Gamaliel and Maria Evoli, respectively) wandering a desolate city, looking for food and shelter. They stumble upon the mysterious Mariano (Noe Hernandez) who invites them to assemble a strange cave-like space with tape and cardboard. Then things get really weird. Sex, murder, and cannibalism come into play, but the message doesn't present fleshy debasement as an evil thing. Or does it? This is a movie that not only asks for, but will also reward multiple viewings.

From the opening scenes, viscerally disgusting and poetic, it's clear We Are The Flesh is the real thing. Not only does Minter construct scenes with patience and striking visual beauty, (or something like beauty) he also summons monumental performances from his three leads. Hernandez inhabits his role with intensity; gleeful, fearsome and potent, while Evoli and Gamaliel go places we really don't expect them to go, with sincere courage and conviction. Stir this all together with hypnotic imagery, searing color, and capricious music, for an unforgettable viewing experience.

"Chance is the greatest criminal" opines Mariano in one of his more lucid moments, so if you're a fan or scholar of the cinema of transgression, don't miss out on the chance to see this new entry in the canon of shocking art-house movies. Highly Recommended.

The DVD

Video:
Arrow Video does the usual stellar job of bringing this fringe film to the forefront in a fantastic 1.85:1 ratio presentation. The High Definition 1080p transfer delivers great clarity and sharp details, often even in the darkest, smokiest corners of Mariano's cave. Close-ups reveal the pores in the actors' faces, while smoky, dark areas rarely break down. Colors are intense and faithfully rendered within the specific color schemes Minter employs. This is an overall beautiful visual feast.

Sound:
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, and uncompressed 2.0 Stereo, in the Spanish Language, are your audio options, both of which sound great and ominous. Dialog, not the centerpiece of this movie, is always clear. Sound design, a huge element of the movie, is boldly presented, it's immersive and ominous. The musical soundtrack is up front, with a nice dynamic range, completing the experience.

Extras:
Arrow assembles a decent amount of extras, starting with Reversible Cover Art and a Liner Notes Insert with an essay by Anton Bitel, a note from the producer, and more. A Visual Essay by critic Virginie Selavy breaks down Minter's movie over 36 minutes, with plenty of scenes from the movie. Two Short Films by Minter, Dentro and Videohome, about 11 minutes each, will confound and enchant you, while Interviews with the director, (18 minutes) Hernandez, (20 minutes) and Evoli and Gamaliel (13 minutes each) round out the extras package.

Final Thoughts:
From the opening scenes, viscerally disgusting and poetic, it's clear We Are The Flesh is the real thing. Minter constructs poetic and unnerving scenes with patience and striking visual beauty, while summoning monumental performances from his three leads. Loads of heady hypnotic imagery, searing color, and capricious music, create a symbolically deep viewing experience. Director Emiliano Rocha Minter says, "chance is the greatest criminal", so if you're a fan or scholar of the cinema of transgression, don't miss out on the chance to see this new entry in the canon of shocking art-house movies. Highly Recommended.



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