We Are the Flesh
2017. Directed by Emiliano Rocha Minter.
Transgressive cinema is a mixed bag, and most assuredly not for everyone. Emiliano Rocha Minter’s We Are the Flesh is an exceptional entry into the genre and a resounding assault on any sense of discretion or restraint. This is a prime example of offensive cinema. Featuring non-simulated sexual acts, otherworldly cinematography, and visceral depictions of necrophilia and cannibalism, this is a film that is not for the faint of heart, pushing the boundaries of art versus pornography while delivering a scathing commentary on the degradation of Mexican culture by way of institutional corruption.
The premise involves a sibling couple that stumbles into the lunatic playground of a hermit within the heart of a post-apocalyptic city. In exchange for food and shelter the brother and sister are forced to participate in an escalating series of deviant sexual escapades that coalesce into an oedipal nightmare. Yollotl Alvarado’s renegade camerawork is the entire filthy ordeal. Bathed in sleazy sepia and primordial crimson, every frame of this film is a traumatic experience rendered with bodily fluids. The compositions, once the initial shock passes, are outstanding, clearly displaying Minter’s classical film roots while evolving into a nascent orgy of sex and violence that does not relent.
If there is a flaw, it is the heavy handedness of the social references as the film lasers in on Mexico’s seething discord which results in disproportionate amounts of “telling” versus the brilliance of the film’s “showing”. There are patches of dialogue and an unspeakable rendition of the national anthem that may be interpreted differently based on the viewer’s cultural background, but the intent is undeniable and the ramifications are disquieting and accusatory. Manuela Garcia’s art direction is a direct representation of these concepts, depicting a masking tape womb in a poisoned world, filled with horror and lust in equal amounts. Maria Evoli’s performance as Fauna is the standout, displaying uncharacteristic courage and inhuman sex appeal that carries the disjointed narrative to its insane resolution.
Available now on a stunning, blu ray release by Arrow Video. This is a one of a kind film that quite frankly is not for anyone who is easily offended or repulsed. Featuring soul tainting visuals, purposefully repugnant content, and a delirious story about the wholesale slaughter of a country’s innocence, We Are the Flesh is a unique offering in an adult only genre. If you’re brave, and extremely open minded, this film “might” be for you, but be warned, you cannot unsee the dark wonders this movie has to offer.
Highly (But Extremely Cautiously) Recommend.