We Are The Flesh is a tough movie to review. I've had it on my radar for a while now and despite a few things I had heard about it, I don't think there was much I could do to mentally prepare myself for it. There is a plot in place but it's used lightly to set up the madness.
The movie centers around a brother and sister who seek refuge inside an abandoned warehouse. There is a homeless man living inside who takes them in, providing them with food/shelter in exchange for work. His special project is building a recreation of a womb made out of cardboard in the heart of the warehouse...and from that point, you begin a long journey down a rabbit hole of depravity .
We Are The Flesh is a movie to be experienced. I want to keep things completely spoiler free so I give you this. A quote from the homeless man early in the film.....
"People shy from certain thoughts. Their lives are a continuous distraction from their own perversion....Solitude on the other hand, drags you, forces you to come face to face with your darkest fantasy...And when nothing happens, you stop being afraid of your most grotesque thoughts."
This is the movie in a nutshell. I couldn't describe it better than it's own mission statement. We Are The Flesh is not a movie you "enjoy". Genre fans will enjoy the ride and appreciate certain aspects. For me personally, the driving force of the film is Noé Hernández; in fact, I would even go as far as to say his portrayal could easily be anyone's pick for performance of the year. From his psychotic grin to his random outbursts of flapping like a bird, he steals the scene nearly every time he's on screen, pretty much ensuring that his character will stay seared into your psyche well after the credits roll.
Orchestrating the madness is Director Emiliano Rocha Minter, showing tremendous talent and promise in this, his feature film debut. There's no doubt the eye he has for that perfect complimenting aesthetic and the techniques to serve them, from lighting and set design to cinematography, all these aspects come together to put you in a dream like trance while watching his work. Ultimately I'm left in awe that he was able to not only create something this raw and experimental, but do so successfully on his first outing, leaving no doubt in my mind the kind of bright career he has ahead of himself.
And as a result of this abstract film production, I'm sure plenty of this film's viewers will pick it apart in an attempt to find some underlying message, or subtext, but my best advice is to instead turn off all logic, sit back, and watch the nightmare unfold.
For only the second time since this site's inception, a film viewing has left me both utterly speechless and completely befuddled, making the review process an extraordinarily difficult task. Being exposed to - and pulled in by - an all consuming vortex of madness, one that amounted to a smorgasbord of depravity, cannibalism, incest, and well, whatever other vile impulses or thoughts that happen to sit - and held in place, by civilized social structures - in the darkest recesses of the human psyche. I was forced, as a result of my own morbid curiosity, to come face to face with a very disturbing philosophy involving the power of the flesh, and only the flesh, to discover for myself what may very well be an intrinsically human latent ability, to fully embrace such a philosophy and all the power that comes with it.
That to me is the crux of the film. Delivered with such powerful imagery, with characters that both fully embrace or reluctantly accept what is being offered in that womb-of-a-building, We Are the Flesh unrelentingly asks of its audience the same things it does of its players. Its an introspective journey of the Id, and questions the value (and existence) of the ego and superego. And I agree with David's take above; Noé Hernández as the central driving force behind the film's powerful delivery, is absolutely enthralling as a centerpiece around which the production can build something as compellingly effective as this.
To better distill the essence of We Are the Flesh; it's post apocalyptic, post rules, post society. Most movies draw lines they dare not cross; audiences as well. This movie has no lines. It's free. It's base. It's impulse. Wherever that takes our characters, and with them, the audience, so be it. You can always choose to avert your eyes, or leave.
Of course, if you stay, there are some absolutely dangerous questions that demand be answered.