CineFestival: Thursday, July 5, 2018
7:00 p.m. Opening Film
We the Animals
Directed by Jeremiah Zagar
2018, USA, 90 min
Us three, brothers, kings inseparable. Manny, Joel, and Jonah tear their way through childhood. Their Ma and Paps have a volatile love that makes and unmakes the family many times over, leaving the boys fending for themselves. As their parents rip at one another, Manny and Joel ultimately harden and grow into versions of their father. With the triumvirate fractured, Jonah—the youngest, the dreamer—becomes increasingly aware of his desperate need to escape. Driven to the edge, Jonah embraces an imagined world all his own.
With a screenplay by Dan Kitrosser and Jeremiah Zagar based on the celebrated Justin Torres novel, We the Animals is a visceral coming-of-age story propelled by strikingly layered performances from its astounding cast, anchored by CineFestival alum Raúl Castillo, elements of magical realism, and unbelievable animated sequences. Though known for documentaries, director Jeremiah Zagar reinvents his career by transforming a landscape of childhood alienation and turning it into a fever dream careening toward the future.
“In his first narrative feature, documentary maker Jeremiah Zagar (In a Dream, Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart) captures the feel of the novel with uncanny precision, notably in the visceral charge and physical heat of tightly wound bodies almost constantly moving in close proximity,” The Hollywood Reporter
“. . . director Jeremiah Zagar portrays the experiences of an adolescent boy coming to terms with his dysfunctional family and his emerging sexuality as a swirling cyclone of nostalgia, brutal arguments, and bittersweet pontifications.” Indy Wire
Miguel Alvarez, 2018, USA, 15 min
Pony and Junior are two South Texas drifters – brothers in spirit, if not blood. Pony’s last connection to his estranged mother is a postcard she sent twenty years ago from Atlantic City. When Junior refuses to help find his mother, Pony resorts to taking a job from a local thug to raise the money to search for her himself. It’s here that he meets a fifteen-year-old runaway that he tries to help.
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