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  We Are the Flesh An Unhealthy InterestBuy this film here.
Year: 2016
Director: Emiliano Rocha Minter
Stars: Noé Hernández, María Evoli, Diego Gamaliel, Gabino Rodriguez, María Cid
Genre: Horror, Sex, Science Fiction
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: The world has suffered a dire apocalypse that has left the survivors scrabbling around in the ruins for sustenance, but for Mariano (Noé Hernández) he has life sorted out, as he stays in a building where his needs are catered for. A mysterious other party supplies him with food, which he either eats or turns into strong alcohol which can be applied to drinking or fuel, but currently he is seeking to transform his makeshift home into a cave using pieces of cardboard and duct tape, which is going very well. But he is not alone, as who should arrive but a brother (Diego Gamaliel) and sister (María Evoli) who have been wandering the wastelands and are taken under his wing - or poisoned with his influence.

We Are the Flesh, or Tenemos la carne if you spoke Spanish, was a Mexican debut movie from twentysomething writer and director Emiliano Rocha Minter which was aimed squarely at the arthouse brigade, though only a specific subset of that audience, for this was purely for those who preferred the shock cinema of that expression. You know the kind of thing, it revelled in explicit sex and violence yet purported not to be an exploitation movie, which generated conflicting responses: either you saw it as pretentious garbage that concocted feeble excuses to indulge its baser instincts, or it was genuinely transgressive and opened up new ways of thinking by rubbing your nose in the aspects of the world never considered by the stuffy mainstream.

Which side of the fence you were on (and there appeared to be very little middle ground) would depend on your experience of watching such creations, be this something you were coming to fresh and therefore likely to be affected by its excesses, or if you had seen a few examples (or a lot) of this type and were either jaded or you kept watching them because you liked the reaction they brought about in you. Certainly Minter was dedicated to his project, having penned it as a stream of consciousness script that represented an unfettered, unedited representation of his subconscious, which some may observe needed more discipline to whip it into shape, or at least more fettering and editing for coherence's sake.

The last half of this was unbothered about making any sense to anyone other than its instigator, but before we reached that point the siblings had to be corrupted by the older sleazebag, who kicks things off by inviting them to eat raw eggs. The sister guzzles eagerly, the brother has to be coaxed, and so it goes, reaching what should have been the nadir when Mariano orders them to eat some of the meat he is sent. The brother protests he is vegetarian, but the sister has no such qualms - a mistake when it is contaminated food she is consuming and throws a fit. However, the supplier has deliberately given her this, and tells her brother he will give her a cure if he eats the (uncontaminated) meat on his plate, for which he has no choice if he wants to see his sister survive. Thus the relationship is established.

The trouble with that is that the corruptor, and by extension Minter, appears to believe that everyone has the potential for setting aside the niceties of human interaction, violently or otherwise, and this resulting nasty personality is what you are actually like deep down inside. This may have been the case with the less salubrious individuals in society, but to make out like it applied across the board was a false conclusion, and the notion that you're weak if you don't allow your dark side to emerge was equally dubious especially when its takes a lot of strength to sustain your moral outlook when certain people (and films like this) are telling you everyone is terrible deep down inside. Therefore when Mariano persuades the siblings to have intercourse with each other, the temptation to perform an epic eye roll may be too much for many viewers, particularly as the director offered unsimulated sex and heat sensitive photography to film it with, a sure mark of the cinematic poseur. There was little point in concluding anything but "well, fancy that" to anything served up here; best to let them get on with it while you find an alternative. Music by Esteban Aldrete.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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