Filmmaker Jim Mickle talks ‘We Are What We Are’

Writer/director Jim Mickle recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about his new arthouse thriller “We Are What We Are.”

In “We Are What We Are,” which opens Friday, Oct. 18 exclusively at Harkins Camelview, Bill Sage plays the patriarch of a reclusive family who find their secret existence threatened as a torrential downpour moves into their area that forces two daughters (Julia Garner and Ambyr Childers) to assume responsibilities beyond those of a typical family.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Mickle by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the writer/director discusses his decision to flip the characters’ genders from those in the foreign film that inspired “We Are What We Are.”

I think that it started in an effort to make it our own and something that would say, ‘OK, this obviously isn’t the original film.’ But as it went on, it kind of took on a life all its own. To me, one of the biggest things about it is the religious aspect. What became really interesting once we did flip the genders is that we were able to point out a lot of the ways that religion can weigh pretty heavily on the females in that faith and a lot of the ways that old men dictate what women are allowed to do.

I think that a lot of that comes from organized religion. That is something that I felt strongly about and always wanted to make a movie about. And I think that once we realized if we didn’t make this a story about two brothers battling to be the man of the house but actually one about two young girls who sort of inherit the chores that their mother has lived her whole life through this would be not only our own story but also our own theme as well.

[I hope that viewers take away that] questions are OK. That questioning traditions, questioning rituals and questioning what you have been told is OK. It doesn’t mean that you are not faithful. It just means that you are getting to the heart of the issue and making it make sense for yourself. I grew up in a family that was very much ‘make up your own mind and make your own decisions’ – not just with religion but with philosophy as well. I had a lot of freedom from my parents and I always thought that was a pretty bold move on their part. So hopefully someone who watches this movie comes away feeling like that is something that is OK to do.” – Jim Mickle

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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