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Credits
  • Director: Rene Eller
  • Producer: Rene Eller, Julius Ponten
  • Screenwriters: Rene Eller (Based on the novel by Elvis Peeters)
  • Cast: Tijmen Govaerts, Aime Claeys, Salome van Grunsven, Laura Drosopoulos, Pauline Casteleyn, Friso van der Werf, Lieselot Siddiki, Gaia Cozijn, Maxime Jacobs
  • Cinematography: Maxime Desmet
Product Details
  • Format: DVD
  • Catalog: ART56
  • UPC: 851597006551 (DVD); 851597006605 (Blu-ray)
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Language: Dutch, Flemish
  • Rating: NR
  • Year: 2018
  • Length: 100
  • Audio: Dolby 5.1
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
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Sex, nihilism and aimless youth…in a Belgian-Dutch border village, eight privileged teenagers play increasingly dangerous games of self-discovery one hot summer. They challenge each other and themselves and soon, their sexual curiosity starts to blur the lines between right and wrong. Their adventure starts aimlessly, idyllically. They light fires at their clubhouse out in the sticks, pull pranks and have it off. Those kicks prove not to be enough. Their originally innocent sex games gradually turn into professionally sold porn, sexual assault, prostitution and blackmail. Their playful lives acquire a dark undercurrent and come to a crashing halt when something goes badly wrong. This modern coming-of-age story is an adaptation of the controversial novel "Wij" by Elvis Peeters.
Reviews

“We is an explosive sexual odyssey that confronts the dangerous naivete of adolescence and the discovery of power. ..Blood, sex and videotape passes through their hands as they exploit a politician, kill Femke and an innocent mother, torture a dog and prostitute themselves. Total debauchery…Sure to leave your stomach churned and your scruples challenged with its exploration of sexuality and power.” – TheFarSighted 

“Throughout the film are interspersed some ugly and violent scenes that challenge whether we are viewing an exploitative film, or a film that is shot with a completely honest point of view that is committed to showing the facts for what they truly are. Either way this is a brutally frank piece of filmmaking and audiences may not be prepared for the onslaught to the senses that is involved. Eller is a one man tour-de-force as he writes, produces and directs this explosive package all in his debut film. Whether you like it or not, this is a powerful film that challenges our assumptions and world views; isn’t that ultimately what real art should do?” – DVDCompare

We (original title Wij) is a film that is more drama than horror. However, due to what takes place in it there was an uncomfortable feeling watching this, I was both repulsed by the protagonists, and also drawn to see just how the story would all play out. First off, and what I think has given this a bit of a controversial edge to it is the amount of nudity this film shows…a memorable film, it was a hell of a journey from start to finish. – TheRottingZombie

“What sets We apart from other similar movies about uninhibited teens is they don’t sit around whining about how terrible their lives are; everything is an opportunity and every day is a host of brand new experiences with no one to answer to. The film was extremely unapologetic and it pushing those envelopes made it all the more effective for me.” – Joe Ketchum, Film Monthly

“Well worth a look for sure!” – SearchMyTrash

“As a sincere compliment to director Rene Eller, We belongs in the maladjusted family tree that also bears the rotten teenage fruit of Larry Clarks’ Kids and Catherine Hardwicke’s Thirteen and harks back to the Golden Age of Dutch Cinema with the Dutch Sex Wave from the 1970’s…We is also an important film of human callousness hidden within the prospect of free love, an age-old infiltration and exploitation concept captured by Rene Eller’s subversive eye and [writer] Elvis Peeters sage mind.” – ItsBLogginEvil

“An unflinching look at the unfortunate machinations born of unchecked teenage angst and unbridled apathy. We utilizes the Rashomon effect to paint a mental disposition of each and every one of its misguided teenage leads. If you’re up for a well-meaning, but highly distressing (and wholly uncomfortable) coming-of-ager, one dressed in a quality production (and delivered on the back of quality performances), then give this indie adaptation a shot.” Jeremiah, 13thFloor

Unflinching in its approach, bolstered by top-notch, all-in, acting and quick to shock…We takes the viewer to plateaus they might never have imagined and may well be unprepared for…This is a stunning and undeniably harrowing, experience you have to immerse yourself.” – CultMetalFlix

“This is not a film that is meant for sensitive viewers. But for those willing to go there, you will not come away unrewarded – even if the reward in question is a proper gut-punch and a sobering dose of reality.” – ReelRenkovish

“Aimless, despicable teens are nothing new in films (Kids, Thirteen or generally any Larry Clark or Harmony Korine film) but the kids in We give them all a run for their money. The entire ensemble is excellent together….A millennial fuck-fest with any thoughts of love or care kept to themselves, it is all about the instant gratification whether the poison is sex or death.” – Ryan Morrissey-Smith, HaddonfieldHorror

“The bold debut, We‘s setup is a typical teen movie: A group of friends find a shack in the woods and use it as a base for their summer of fun. Except such fun is comprised of polyamorous sex, followed by prostitution, blackmail and death. With its disarming rawness and anything-goes attitude, We has some of the debauched energy and moral grayness of early Larry Clark, although Eller is more stylish and more arch. There are certain shades of Yann Gonzalez’s “You and the Night” in its blend of heightened drama and kinkiness run amuck, and one hardcore scene recalls Lars von Trier’s “The Idiots.” A smart, confrontational, well-acted and stunningly edited modern fable about the unleashing of the id.” – Rupert Harvey, TheCriticalCritics

 “We, Rene Eller’s film about young Dutch debauchery, is the latest release from Philadelphia’s purveyors of art, smut, and bizarre genre fare from around the world. ..one thing is certain when you pop in an Artsploitation disc — you’re in for a wild ride.

Within minutes of the film’s start the teenage ensemble is mostly naked filming their own pornography in a scheme to make some money. Soon pornography gives way to prostitution. Then makeshift abortions, horrible accidents, and untimely deaths. The film certainly has its shocking moments and they aren’t few and far between either. Fans of Larry Clark’s Kids and Bully or Harmonh Korine’s Gummo will find a lot in common here in regard to both style and themes. As in those films, there’s a nihilism that’s drives the film and a sense of danger that continually builds. Even when we, as viewers, can see what’s coming next, the anticipation is horrifying and dread inducing. This may not be a life changing film for all, but it surely will be for some… It’s uncompromising and filled with complicated and confusing emotions. In the end, it all comes to a head, a catharsis that is somehow equally fulfilling and not. In the end, the films will have you wondering why and if anything in this world even matters.” Justin Harlan, Cinapse

“An explicit coming-of-age tale that would fit quite easily into Larry Clark’s filmography. The cast is remarkable, painting a lucid but dark portrait of wayward teenagers. An amoral but fascinating tale of teen corruption…Shocking and unsettling, there’s a ring of truth that works its way through the narrative. The cast is remarkable, painting a lucid but dark portrait of wayward teenagers becoming inhumane predators. A convincingly truthful scenario of normal teenagers gone bad, We is nearly pitch-perfect…Rene Eller’s willingness to push the boundaries of teen sexuality and nudity on screen might seem like pornography but ends up justified in the darkest recesses of We’s disturbing tale.” Christopher Zabel, DoBlu

“Despite a few brief scenes of erotic content, copious nudity, exhibitionism, and naturalism, as well numerous sex scenes, We is not designed to be arousing. Much of the content is disturbing. We, however, itself is artfully madeWe holds viewers’ attention. Sometimes, however, it is hard to watch. We never sensationalizes its characters or their actions (like Paul Verhoeven would). Eller plays things in a matter-of-fact style that redeems it (but not the characters). Herein lies the strength of what could have been just another jaded youth film.  Gary M. Kramer, Film International 

An involving tale of depravity.” Colin Jacobson, DVD Movie Guide 

“This is a hard watch,I won’t deny that…the violence and destruction left in the wake of these kids is pretty obscene but this is a great movie. Rene Eller’s feature film debut is a masterpiece and a sharp rebuke to parents who aren’t paying close attention to their kids. While “We” won’t be a film you may like, it is a film you’ll take notice of and never forget. I know we won’t forget anytime soon…..” – The InnerCircle

Unforgettable…this isn’t your run of the mill horror movie. This is more like a coming of age story, but the ones coming of age are really fucked up…there’s a dark underbelly to this movie; it’s a story about the narcissism and nihilism that can only come from inexperienced youth. It’s a dark, dirty, mean-spirited film that gets darker and meaner as it goes. I felt dirty as fuck watching. The writing is incredible. The plot twists are like short jabs to your gut; they come in rapid succession and leave your mouth agape. It’s a really beautiful and engrossing film. If you let it, this film will pull you in quickly and won’t let go until long after the credits roll. This is a film that will stick with you for awhile. This is the kind of horror that reflects real-life horrors and if you’re in the mood for a gorgeous downer of a film, We is what you’re looking for.” Yeyi, TNHORROR

We is beautifully shot and superbly edited…The youngsters’ skilful ability to portray their characters, together with a haunting soundtrack, makes it a compelling watch. Let’s be clear, though, as a (nearly) middle aged woman, I found We truly painful to watch – striking and obscenely graphic violent scenes had me covering my eyes, feeling queasy and hoping for it to come to an end as quickly as possible. I spent hours in a daze after watching it and it disturbed my sleep that night. Maybe I’m not as desensitised as I would like to be, or maybe I am becoming too vulnerable to violence as we live in a society where violence against other human beings has become the new normal and watching gratuitous ferocity is simply too much for me. Nevertheless, it is an outstanding picture in its ability to shock, challenge and frustrate its audience, and praise is certainly due.” – Alton Williams, BRWC

We may very well be more disturbing than either of the cinematic adaptations of [Bret Easton] Ellis’s work, Mary Harron’s American Psycho and Marek Kanievska’s Less Than Zero, both of which largely chose style over substance and paled in comparison to Ellis’s masterful writings. Eller, on the other hand, has created a cinematic endeavor of quiet brutality, a pitch dark glimpse into the collective soul of a millennial generation where one is imprisoned by freedom and isolated within the communal experience. I’d dare say that We is so shockingly explicit that the vast majority of critics won’t have the presence of mind to actually review the film itself, instead focusing on its explicit nature. We most certainly isn’t a film for everyone. The film’s explicit nature alone will likely have the more timid moviegoers cowering in a fetal position crying out for their mama, but Eller’s unflinching and honest portrayal of disconnected youths and a generation on its collective last gasp will likely resonate with those who prefer cinema that challenges and artists with enough integrity to tell an uncomfortable story uncomfortably.”  – Richard Propes, The Independent Critic  

“Dutch version of Kids/Bully era of Larry Clark, 23 years later. Whereas Kids was a wake-up call about the kind of behaviour that young teenagers of the time were diving into, this is 20 years too late, uninteresting, and more like Bully than Kids. I.e. it’s merely exploitation, trash and sensationalism. A group of eight teenage friends form a kind of anything-goes fun club to break their boredom and challenge each other. The immoral behaviour quickly escalates from sexual games, to porn (explicit), prostitution, blackmail, and violent abuse. As opposed to Clark, this one does show consequences, except most of them don’t seem to care about anything or have any semblance of a moral compass, so it keeps spiraling even more out of control anyways. They cause senseless death and destruction, there’s a violent attempt at home-made abortion, and one guy turns out to be a sick sadist straight out of Bully. If not for the credits, I would have sworn this was a Clark movie. No realistic characters, just sensationalism and exploitation.” – Worldwide Celluloid Massacre

“[A] bold and sinister portrayal of hedonistic youth…strikingly explicit spectacle of millennial depravity. We’s inflammatory passages of aimless depravity and experimentation call to mind the divisive output of famed provocateurs like Harmony Korine, Larry Clark and Lars von Trier.” – FilmDoo

“A very interesting, provocative, often daring, fresh, sometimes peculiar filmWe is much less about politics and more about youth, excesses, curiosity, pushing across borders, exaggerating, using creativity, but ending with a rather excessive, eventually dangerous, illegal and tragic venture into criminal territory.” – NotesOnFilm

Screenings
2018 - Rotterdam Film Festival
2018 - London Raindance Film Festival
2018 - Calgary International Film Festival
2018 - Tirana Film Festival
2018 - Busan International Film Festival
2018 - Rome Independent Film Festival
2019 - Chicago European Union Film Festival
2018 - Thessaloniki Film Festival
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Awards
Tirana Film Festival - Best Director
Rome Independent Film Festival - Best Feature Film
News

When We was screened at the Raindance Film Festival, the festival issues a statement addressing the screening of the film. “We notify our audience that we have agreed to comply with the Westminster City Council request to blur out two 5 second scenes at 16:50 and 17:18 from the film in order to be able to screen the film at the festival under the blanket 18 rating.”

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About the Director

RENE ELLER is a Dutch director and producer. He started working as a casting director for television and commercials. After that Eller started to make an international name for himself, first as music video director and later as the founder of Czar, which grew into one of the most successful commercial production companies in the world. Since a couple of years Eller has fully immersed himself into the world of feature films. WE is his feature debut.

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Credits
  • Director: Rene Eller
  • Producer: Rene Eller, Julius Ponten
  • Screenwriters: Rene Eller (Based on the novel by Elvis Peeters)
  • Cast: Tijmen Govaerts, Aime Claeys, Salome van Grunsven, Laura Drosopoulos, Pauline Casteleyn, Friso van der Werf, Lieselot Siddiki, Gaia Cozijn, Maxime Jacobs
  • Cinematography: Maxime Desmet
Product Details
  • Format: DVD
  • Catalog: ART56
  • UPC: 851597006551 (DVD); 851597006605 (Blu-ray)
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Language: Dutch, Flemish
  • Rating: NR
  • Year: 2018
  • Length: 100
  • Audio: Dolby 5.1
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Gallery