Somos lo que hay (We Are What We Are). 2010. Mexico. Written and directed by Jorge Michel Grau. With Carmen Beato, Daniel Giménez Cacho and Paulina Gaitán. In Spanish; English subtitles. 35mm. 90 min.
Jorge Michel Grau’s debut feature, We Are What We Are is a startlingly bleak film about a Mexican family addicted to eating human flesh. Although it’s never revealed why or how their cannibalism began, their shared taboo clearly represents a larger, problematic societal ill. The story begins after the patriarch of the family dies and the grueling, gory process of procuring meat for the family falls to the reluctant eldest son, who targets prostitutes and homeless children—that is, those who would go unnoticed. We Are What We Are, which premiered at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight program and the New York Film Festival in 2010, goes beyond a horror within a family to speak to the everyday violence and corruption in Mexico City.