We Are Living Things

U.S./China/Italy, 96m, DCP

After a chance meeting, two undocumented residents discover that they are both in search of intelligent life in the universe. Solomon (Jorge Antonio Guerrero) lives in the back lot of a recycling plant in Brooklyn, obsessed with connecting to aliens who he believes abducted his mother many years ago. Chuyao (Xingchen Lyu), who fled China, believes she was abducted as a child. When Solomon discovers Chuyao is controlled by a brutal pimp, he takes drastic action to save her. As a result, the two are forced to run from the law and head to Arizona as fugitives. Along their journey, Chuyao gives him renewed hope for the future, yet Solomon finds that he must confront his past demons in the desert as he looks for answers in the skies. A Juno Films release

In English, Spanish, and Mandarin; with English subtitles

Official Selection: Deauville Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival

 

A Hidden Kingdom short will precede each screening of We Are Living Things. Hidden Kingdom follows five different dancers in New York to reveal the rich terrain of our shared human desires. Blending elements of the surreal with the intimacy of a diary, Hidden Kingdom immerses the viewer in a visual landscape of movement and raw emotion: a body twists, a window becomes a portal, a curtain is lifted back to show us something new, or something familiar.

August 12th – “Regine” (Runtime: 6m): Regine, in Central America, is deepening her connection to the Yoruba religion. Through movement, spiritual practice, and teaching her dance styles all over the world, she uncovers truths to understand her roots.

August 13th – “Smarlin” (Runtime: 6m): In Smarlin’s episode, she delves into one of the hardest decisions she has had to make in her life, the decision to leave her family in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to start a new life dancing in New York City. Smarlin’s dazzling performances juxtaposed with her intimate moments at home, give light to her complex relationship with her dance and family.

August 14th & 17th – “Robin” (Runtime: 8m): In Karon’s episode, we are introduced to dark basements, battle circles, limbs flexing and contorting — then suddenly in a tender embrace with his goddaughter. He is the expression of duality and survival in harsh environments.

August 15th – “Kouadio” (Runtime: 7m):  The curtains open up on Kouadio, a Ballerino, who teaches and performs with the renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem. He moves with speed and urgency, but learns to slow down and contemplate his own intricacies as he explores movement and identity.

August 16th – “Yamini” (Runtime: 6m): Yamini bears the weight of pushing and pulling at her traditional Indian teachings and western ideals. She came to New York to be embraced by a city that allows her to carve a new path for herself.

A film by Antonio Tibaldi

Antonio Tibaldi’s cool and atmospheric We Are Living Things posits in original if not always fully formed ways: Refugee life is often a choice between competing probabilities, a state of permanent ambiguity.”

Austin Considine, The New York Times