We the Animals

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Director: Jeremiah Zagar

Presented by: Jeremiah Zagar

 

2018, USA, 90 MIN

Distributor: The Orchard

Program Notes

We the Animals is a poetic and honest depiction of Jonah, a young child who encounters the difficulties of reality at far too early an age. Our relationship to Jonah naturally develops as we experience his soul grow and form strength to combat the disconnecting forces around him.

Adapted by directors Jeremiah Zagar and Dan Kitrosser from Justin Torres’ semi-biographical novel, We the Animals is a uniquely constructed, coming of age story, told through the eyes of Jonah (Evan Rosado), a sensitive and introspective individual who realizes that he does not quite see the world the way his brothers do. We follow Jonah and his two older brothers, Manny (Isaiah Kristian) and Joel (Josiah Gabriel), as they explore the world amid a tumultuous and unstable household environment. Their young parents struggle to stay afloat, unable to conceal or work through the realities of job stresses and violent, emotional outbursts.

The film transitions between third person observational footage of the parents’ heated, emotional lives and the perspective of Jonah. The incorporation of hand drawn journal entries, which communicate Jonah’s emotional stances, and the vigorous, percussive score by Nick Zammuto create a memorable expressions of Jonah’s efforts to try and make sense of these formative experiences.

Cinematographer, Zak Mulligan does a beautiful job of capturing the crisp colors of Upstate New York’s lush landscape, casting lyrical light that shifts over fallen eyes and heavy tears. The visual imagery powerfully conveys the characters’ sensibilities, creating a singular and evocative experience. (Margaret Rorison)

 

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