We the Animals

A raw coming-of-age tale bristling with the rage, freedom and fear of adolescence

Film Review by Phil Kennedy | 05 Jun 2019
  • We the Animals
Film title: We the Animals
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Starring: Evan Rosado, Josiah Gabriel, Isaiah Kristian
Release date: 14 Jun
Certificate: 15

For all its ochre-hued images of Nowheresville, USA and its elliptical rambling through the past of its young protagonist, Jonah, We the Animals does an impressive job of avoiding simple nostalgia. Jonah’s childhood is, after all, not entirely simple. And his recollections are not delivered from distance or hindsight; the narrating voice we hear belongs to the same boy we see – he is trapped there somehow, still alive to the threat of those times.

His is a family bound by fractious love and bolstered by a primal pack mentality. His mother is a bruised, crumpled hostage to the men in her life, his father’s idea of a swimming lesson involves controlled drowning and his brothers are a hair's breadth away from the angry explosion of adolescence.

A last act revelation lights the fuse on another detonation. This one is all Jonah’s. It is unhurried, unforced and an uncompromising gut-punch. An apt end to a work that acutely grasps the emotional dissonance borne of family ties; a film that understands how the conditions that drive us together might also beget the forces that tear us apart.

Released 14 Jun by Eureka Entertainment