Life and Nothing More

Life and Nothing More

Antonio Méndez Esparza / 2017 / 114 minutes / Spine #21

In his remarkable second feature – winner of the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award – Spanish-born filmmaker Antonio Méndez Esparza follows-up his debut drama Aquí y allá with another sensitive portrait of a struggling family. Stressed by her job in a diner, single mother Regina (Regina Williams) is raising her two children in northern Florida. When her 14-year-old son Andrew (Andrew Bleechington) has another brush with the law, she worries he’ll wind up in prison like his father. Méndez Esparza employs documentary-style realism in this snapshot of race, class and the bonds of family in contemporary America.



• Interview with Antonio Méndez Esparza (29 minutes)

Una y otra vez, a short film by Antonio Méndez Esparza (2009, 27 minutes)

• Theatrical Trailer



→ Read Antonio Méndez Esparza’s Single Takes column on Max Ophüls’ The Earrings of Madame De…


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  • “Critics’ Pick! A slow accumulation of closely observed moments… add up to something much more nuanced, a portrait of lives that can’t be reduced to statistics.”

    — Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
  • "A near-perfect film, one that easily bears comparison with early works by the Dardenne Brothers, Ruby in ParadiseKiller of Sheep. Regina Williams’s performance is extraordinary."

    — Amy Taubin, Film Comment
  • "Four Stars (out of four)! Regina Williams’ portrayal… is a tour de force on every level."

    — Matt Fagerholm,
  • “An involving, urgent and moving drama. A powerfully executed, richly human study of the challenges facing a black working class family."

    — Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily
  • “A rich drama. Raw, real, and strong.”

    — David Ehrlich, Indiewire
  • “A moving study of race, class, and familial bonds in America. Astute, quietly vigorous. The cast is nothing short of revelatory."

    — Ela Bittencourt, Hyperallergic
  • “If I try to imagine what a fiction film directed by the great documentarian Frederick Wiseman might look like, this low-budget gem comes pretty close.”

    — Nick James, Sight & Sound
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