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NYFF: We Are What We Are

NYFF: We Are What We Are

We Are What We Are opens with an appropriately nauseating sequence underlining its thesis about the wide gulf separating the rich and the poor in contemporary Mexico City. A man, scruffy and stumbling, paws at an upscale storefront’s plate-glass window and the perfectly outfitted mannequins beyond it. An impatient clerk shoos him away. But the man stays put, apparently becoming more unhinged (a looking-into-the-sun shot aligns viewers briefly with his woozy point of view), eventually vomiting what looks like a thick black tar, falling to his knees, and finally gasping his last. His corpse is quickly whisked away, his vomit wiped up by a crack janitorial team, and shoppers resume strolling over the spot where he gave up the ghost, yammering away at a high volume about nothing in particular. It’s an unsettling, if not subtle, statement: a man swept under the rug, his dignity losing out to a society’s imperative of keeping up appearances. Read Benjamin Mercer’s review of We Are What We Are.

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