We the Animals

Fiction film We the Animals

Guests Expected

Director Jeremiah Zagar expected to attend April 9 and April 11 screenings; author Justin Torres expected to attend April 9 screening.


Director Jeremiah Zagar uses the dreamy language and impressionistic narrative of Justin Torres's novel of the same name to tell the coming-of-age story of three young Puerto Rican boys growing up in a loving family shadowed by domestic violence. Evocative and dazzlingly stylized, this image-rich debut film conjures the push and pull of family ties as one of the kids' burgeoning but same-sex desire sets him apart from the rest of his clan. Winner of the NEXT Innovator Award at Sundance and SFFILM-supported.

"Preteen sexuality is sensitive terrain, but the filmmakers explore Jonah's growing awareness in dynamic yet restrained terms, using Mark Samsonovich's scratchy pen drawings to animate the boy's illustrated, obsessively scribbled notebooks. Desire, darkness and death, violence and liberation all converge in images that suggest the tough path ahead." – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

"This is an assured, confident feature-directing debut for Zagar who shows great promise in his ability to render a confident and brilliant work of art from difficult-to-adapt source material. His film is a complicated coming-of-age tale that not only brings refreshing insights but gives us beautifully rendered images that have the power to haunt you for days." – Jordan Ruimy, The Playlist

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Director Jeremiah Zagar

Jeremiah Zagar makes his narrative feature debut after a distinguished documentary career that includes the Oscar-shortlisted In a Dream (2008), a film that focused on his parents, mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, and his wife Julia. Of his return to the subject of family with We the Animals, Zagar says, “All of our families are essentially cocoons. What the movie is about is breaking free from that cocoon. And there’s a necessity to break from it, but also to honor that cocoon. And to celebrate it.” (shootonline.com)

Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2018
  • Running time: 90
  • Director(s): Jeremiah Zagar
  • Producer(s): Jeremy Yaches, Christina D. King, Andrew Goldman, Paul Mezey
  • Writer(s): Dan Kitrosser, Jeremiah Zagar
  • Cinematographer(s): Zak Mulligan
  • Editor(s): Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates
  • Music: Nick Zammuto
  • With: Raul Castillo, Sheila Vand, Evan Rosado

Print Source:

The Orchard