LIFE AND NOTHING MORE
In AFI FEST alumnus Antonio Méndez Esparza’s sophomore feature, the gifted director observes the struggles of a family living in northern Florida — working-class mother Regina, and her troubled teenage son Andrew — with a compassionate eye, sharply focused on how their story echoes the systemic injustice directed toward black men and women in America. In a series of expertly framed long takes, Esparza allows the drama to unfold, aided by his cast of uncommonly gifted first-timers. This is, at its core, a story about the complex emotions between a young man whose circumstances may be driving him to the same bleak future as his imprisoned father, and the mother who holds on to her love for her son despite the hardships that ripple through her professional and personal life. – Mike Dougherty
Antonio Méndez Esparza holds an MFA in Filmmaking from Columbia University. He was raised in Madrid but has lived in New York City, Mexico and Spain for most of the last decade. His debut feature HERE AND THERE premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, winning the Critics' Week Grand Prize, and went on to play AFI FEST. LIFE AND NOTHING MORE is his second feature.