[Special showing of the /slash Filmfestival. BTW, their program for 2011 is online and tickets are on sale. Get them while they’re fresh.]
After the death of their father, the three siblings Alfredo (Francisco Barreiro), Sabina (Paulina Gaitan) and Julian (Alan Chávez) have to shoulder the family responsibility since their mother (Carmen Beato) doesn’t show much inclination to do so. Apart from the usual problems a poor family in Mexico City faces, they are also ritualistic cannibals – and they need to find a new victim.
We Are What We Are is a wonderfully atmospheric film. The cast is very good, the characters are interesting and the film looks wonderful. But the whole cannibalism thing feels a little tacked on. Not that I didn’t enjoy a little gore on the side, but it just didn’t seem to serve much purpose in the story.
For a movie about cannibals, We Are What We Are is surprisingly tender. In fact, the cannibalism is more of a minor sidenote. And since I’m pragmatic to the core, I always wonder when such concepts are introduced: What purpose do they serve? Why are they in the story? [Of course, not everything has to have a purpose, but I like my stories that way.] And while they upped the stakes a little bit and let the situation spiral out of control a bit more quickly, it feels like the same story could have been told without the cannibalism, too.
But since it was such a minor part of the story, it didn’t bother me too much. In fact, I enjoyed the film a whole lot, just more as a family drama than as a horror movie. Which made the horror movie ending feel a bit out of place.
The characters were great and the actors very well cast. Especially Paulina Gaitan was wonderful, though I also enjoyed Francisco Barreiro. I loved the relationships the siblings had with each other and the way they grow – or refuse to grow – after their father’s death.
But even more than that I enjoyed the feel and look of the film: the apartment with the billion clocks, the coloring that never really strays far from brown, the entire mood of the film is entrancing.
Summarsing: Interesting and should be watched.