Lovely and lyrical, this film received well-earned comparisons to Moonlight when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it earned the prestigious NEXT Innovator Award. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar makes his narrative debut with this adaptation of the novel by Justin Torres about three boys navigating their parents’ volatile relationship and the aftermath of their breakup. Two of the sons clearly follow in the footsteps of their macho, anger-prone father (Raúl Castillo, Looking), while the sensitive youngest, Jonah (Evan Rosado), remains close to their mother (Sheila Vand, Women Who Kill).
Exquisitely photographed by Zak Mulligan, the film captures both the beauty and terror of childhood, guiding us through the wonders of the world and the pain and confusion of marital dysfunction. Strains of Malick appear throughout, but there is nothing contrived or familiar about this achingly crafted coming-of-age tale. The entire ensemble (which also includes newcomers Josiah Gabriel and Isaiah Kristian) gives the film a raw naturalism — we feel like invisible observers as young lives unfold before us. Subtle and haunting, bursting with empathy and energy, We the Animals heralds a new chapter for a brilliant and essential storytelling talent.
SAT | July 14 | DGA 1 | 6:45 PM
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
USA | 93 minutes | 2018
Post Screening Reception:
DGA Atrium | 8:30 – 11:00 PM
Jeremiah Zagar grew up in South Philly spending most afternoons in a movie theater or wandering his local video store. Later, he started filming his hippie parents, resulting in the documentary In A Dream. His next documentary, Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart, aired on HBO in 2014. When he’s not working, Jeremiah spends his time swimming in New York City’s finest public pools.