Saturday, August 6, 2011
The premise is pretty original -- a family living in Mexico eats people. Typically, their father procures their meals, but at the beginning of the movie, he drops dead from poisoning. Therefore, the eldest son, Alfredo, must now take responsibility for the family duties. Alfredo immediately struggles with internal conflict about actually killing people, taming his violent brother Julian, and dealing with his whackjob mom.
Apparently the timing of obtaining bodies/food coincided with some sort of ritual. And this is where this movie confused me. I didn't understand the motivation behind the family being cannibals. When I heard about the movie, I thought it was because they were hungry and poor and had no other means of getting food. But all of these people seemed more than able to work, and it was unclear why they didn't. So was this all about some sort of religious/pagan sacrifice deal? This was not fully explained.
I did enjoy the movie overall, and it had a nice, short running length of less than 90 minutes. Probably my favorite part of the movie was the stunning cinematography and images.
We Are What We Are is rife with socio-political commentary, and even includes a subplot about Alfredo exploring his own sexuality. I've read that some people are displeased that the Mexico of movies is often represented by the gritty and rundown Mexico City, but in this movie, that backdrop was essential. Definitely worth a watch.