Saturday 23 June 2018

We the Animals - Edinburgh International Film Festival


It's somehow easy to get the idea of growing up in a beautiful rural place and as a result having an idyllic childhood and developing strong bonds with nature. We The Animals is one of those films that proves that that isn't necessarily the case.

Against the backdrop of a beautiful lakeshore, Manny, Joel and Jonah tear their way through the countryside and watch without fully understanding the dysfunctional relationship between their parents who argue, fight, split up, get back together. They both work nights, which can't help the family dynamics.

Nine year old Jonah knows he is different from his brothers, for a start he can't swim while they play around in the lake with confidence and he has nightmares of drowning. He hides under the bed and draws, pictures that are increasingly angry as the arguments between his parents become more intense and as he spends more time with a local teenager. These drawings take on a life of their own as animated components in the film, which add another layer to the film.

It's a beautifully made melancholy coming of age film and the viewer somehow has the sense that the young boys are going to grow up only to repeat the mistakes and failures of their parents.

We the Animals is screening as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival at  1800 Sunday 24 June at Cineworld and 2050 Wednesday 27 June at Vue Omni.

 You can read my other reviews from this year's film festival by following the links below:

Island of the Hungry Ghosts - meditation on migration and detention on Christmas Island 

Kayak to Klemtu - a young First Nations woman kayaks to her home town to protest against a pipeline

Supa Modo - a super-hero film with a difference 

Becoming Animal - meditative documentary about the human relationship with nature

Science Fair - documentary about brilliant young scientists attending the International Science and Engineering Fair

Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and attended a free press screening of this film.

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