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We Are What We Are (and We're Cannibals)

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE Yet again, they found themselves staring hungrily at the mailman.

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE Yet again, they found themselves staring hungrily at the mailman.

THE FAMILY THAT EATS TOGETHER... eats a lot of whore flesh together? The dark, stylish Mexican film We Are What We Are is less an exploitation flick about a poverty-stricken family of cannibals and more a moody piece about familial ties and strife after the loss of a family's patriarch, who was the clan's sweetbread winner. After his father's gnarly poisoning and his mother's grief-induced shutdown, Alfredo (Francisco Barreiro) must provide for his sociopathic brother Julián (Alan Chávez) and sister Sabina (Paulina Gaitán). But in this household, putting dinner on the table means kidnapping a street urchin or sidling up to some prostitutes. It's a bit unclear why the family has a long tradition of being cannibals (maybe because they're so poor?), but Alfredo must either follow in his father's footsteps or his family will perish. This is a film that succeeds on a quiet level—forgiving some heavy-handedness and bewildering plot points, it's really an understated family drama about relationships, expectations, and secrets. So I guess the characters of We Are What We Are are, in fact, what they eat—humans to the flawed, fucked-up bone.

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