REVIEW: We Are the Flesh

8 04 2017

Fantastic Fest

Due to some kind of inexplicable error with the DCP file, I had to watch Emiliano Rocha Minter’s “We Are the Flesh” off some kind of pixelated backup copy. Maybe it was for the best that I couldn’t see every inch of the film in all its graphic detail. I saw plenty – or dare I say, too much – from what was there.

Credit Minter for crafting a visually innovative hellscape that invokes the surreal “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” only here as the devil’s cavern. He also assembles a cacophonous symphony of tactile sounds that accentuate the unnatural space. Yet beyond the creation of a unique world, the “last monument of a miserable society,” I can offer few compliments.

“We Are the Flesh” makes “Wetlands” seem like a Disney movie in its innocence. Minter drops two siblings in this unforgiving landscape and introduces them to a deranged stranger who awakens their incestuous desires. It was around the point of the Reygadas-esque sex scene, complete with freeze frames during orgastic spasms, where I just gave up any hope of finding meaning or commentary in the film. Minter is shocking for the sake of being shocking. He’s free to make the movie he wants, but I certainly don’t have to enjoy being subjected to an orgy of flesh eating as the ends of the film, not its means. C+

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