We the Animals

We the Animals

USA | 2018 | 90 minutes | Jeremiah Zagar

Justin Torres' acclaimed autobiographical novel comes to life with Shiela Vand (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) and Raúl Castillo (HBO's "Looking") as the volatile parents of three wild boys, the youngest, most sensitive of whom is on the cusp of exploring his homosexuality.

Ethereal and touching, We the Animals is a beautiful portrait of a family in upstate New York struggling to cope with the realities of rural blue-collar life and preteen sexuality. Jonah (Evan Rosado) and his two older brothers frolic and run their way through town while his parents, affectionately referred to as Ma (Shiela Vand, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night ) and Pa (Raul Castillo, "Looking"), grapple with the stagnancy of their lives. Their relationship ebbs and flows from violent to utterly tender under the weight of anxiety. Both fled Brooklyn after marrying as teens in the hopes of better opportunity upstate, opportunity that now seems like it will never come. Bouncing from job to job, Pa can't seem to grasp steady employment, his depression hanging like a cloud over the family, while Ma keeps the roof over their head by working at a local brewery. When a neighbor boy invites Jonah to the basement promising pornography, Jonah discovers he's attracted to him, at which point he begins slowly drifting from his brothers. As he and his two brothers try to emulate their father's captivating masculinity, Jonah draws closer to his nurturing mother, promising never to grow up. The film's intimate narrative is based on author Justin Torres' acclaimed autobiographical novel of the same name.

Director Biography
Jeremiah Zagar has been making films since he was a teenager. At 19 he made the documentary short Delhi House, which screened at a number of festivals including the Slamdance Film Festival. His first feature length film In a Dream premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Academy Award®. We the Animals is his first narrative feature.

Sponsored by WARM 106.9 FM, Red Element Studios

  • Director: Jeremiah Zagar
  • Principal Cast: Raul Castillo, Sheila Vand, Evan Rosado, Isaiah Kristian, Josiah Gabriel
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Producer: Jeremy Yaches, Christina D. King, Andrew Goldman, Paul Mezey
  • Screenplay: Daniel Kitrosser, Jeremiah Zagar
  • Cinematographers: Zak Mulligan
  • Editors: Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates
  • Music: Nick Zammuto
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: In A Dream (doc, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: The Orchard
  • International Sales: Cinetic