We Are the Flesh (3 stars)

We Are the Flesh

Mexico's Emiliano Rocha Minter directs this seriously twisted and feverishly intense fantasy

Mexican director Emiliano Rocha Minter's debut feature is not for the faint-hearted. We Are the Flesh (Tenemos la carne) feels like a perverse interpretation of a traditional fairytale. It is a twisted hybrid of Hansel and Gretel, Faust and the Biblical fall of Adam and Eve as sifted through the psychedelic sensibility of a Gaspar Noé or an Alejandro Jodorowsky film. Veering between the unfathomable and the unpalatable, it swills around in body fluids, gleefully celebrating the pleasures of the flesh. Incest, cannibalism, necrophilia, blood, death and a gloopy rebirth are the major ingredients of a grisly brew.

Leery, bug-eyed, bearded hermit Mariano (played with wild abandon by Noé Hernández) lives in an abandoned building, concocting a miracle potion which he trades for a supply of eggs. His solitude is broken by the arrival of Fauna (María Evoli) and her brother Lucio (Diego Gamaliel). In return for sanctuary and food, Mariano creates a family unit – becoming a father figure, guru and dictator to the innocent siblings as they build an elaborate, womb-like structure. Why the youngsters are so enthralled by him is the kind of sensible question the film never stops to ponder.

Soon the compliant siblings are pushed towards transgressive acts intended to awaken their carnal desires and break all the rules of a conventional society. In typical Noé fashion, the sex scenes are vivid and full frontal as the audience is confronted by giant close-ups of testicles, a clitoris and a fully erect penis. You are eternally grateful that Minter didn't employ 3D.

We Are the Flesh has the feverish intensity of your worst nightmare as it descends into a love-it-or-loathe-it vision of hell on earth. You are left admiring the uncompromising approach of Minter, whilst wondering what the heck you have just witnessed.

Limited release from Fri 18 Nov.

We Are The Flesh

  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • Spain
  • 1h 20min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Emiliano Rocha Minter
  • Cast: Noé Hernández, María Evoli, Diego Gamaliel
  • UK release: 18 November 2016

Mariano (Hernández), a leery, bug-eyed hermit lives in an abandoned building, where he becomes a father figure, guru and dictator to siblings Fauna (Evoli) and Lucio (Gamaliel), pushing them towards transgressive carnality. By turns unfathomable and unpalatable, it has the feverish intensity of a nightmare, like Hansel…