Thursday, February 17, 2011
WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Somos lo que hay) will sound like a group version, a les Cagelles, of a certain song from a too-oft revived Broadway musical. Well, it ain't, Blanche. What it is is a new movie from Mexico, land of seismic societal divisions, in which kidnapping is simply a way to bring us together -- money-wise, at least. Kidnapping has its place in this film from gruelingly gifted writer-director Jorge Michel Grau (his first full-length), but it is merely the beginning of the suffering of which the victims here partake. (And I am including as victims, even the family of aggressors.)
Humberto Yáñez) whose whoring has left poor mom (Carmen Beato) bereft and taking her anger out on her kids; two sons always in competition, the younger (the late Alan Chávez, above, right) hot and horny, the older (Francisco Barreiro, above, left) weak and unprepared to take the reins when called upon; and a beautiful adolescent daughter (Paulina Gaitan, above, center, from Sin Nombre), whose character is still forming.
IMDB, at only 18 years of age, with ten film credits behind him and a whole career in front of him, Chávez and some friends exchanged gunfire during an argument (oh, those hot-headed Latin actors!). While fleeing from police responding to the incident, more gunfire ensued, and the actor was mortally wounded. We seem to be approaching ever closer to the apocalyptic state of affairs described in one of The Onion's most hilarious articles from last year. Ah, Mexico -- buena suerte!
IFC Films, We Are What We Are opens tomorrow, Friday, February 18, in New York City at the IFC Center, then comes to VOD the following Wednesday, February 23.