Life and Nothing More | Salt Lake City Weekly

Life and Nothing More

Rated NR 114 minutes 2018

★★★★★ ★★★★★
It’s not exactly intuitive that a particularly sensitive and insightful perspective on the 21st-century African-American experience would come from a Spanish filmmaker. Writer/director Antonio Méndez Esparza oversees the largely-improvised story of a northern Florida single mother named Regina (Regina Williams) trying to care for her 14-year-old son Andrew (Andrew Bleechington)—who is already on probation as the narrative begins—as well as a 3-year-old daughter. Esparza sets the events around the 2016 presidential election, but fortunately doesn’t hammer too hard on the notion that this is somehow a meditation specifically on Trump’s America. Indeed, Regina and her friends specifically note their belief that nothing will change in their lives no matter who is elected, and the largely episodic narrative emphasizes this notion of simply trying to make it from one day to the next. The sections focusing on Andrew ultimately are a bit less successful, despite exploring complex topics like racial profiling and fatherless black teens. Williams, meanwhile, poignantly captures a flawed but loving mother, with every turn making it harder to see how she can find happiness for her family or for herself.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.cafilm.org/lanm

Director: Antonio Esparza

Cast: Regina Williams, Andrew Bleechington, Eric Trombley, Kara Fenlon, Dawuan Williams and Mitch Paulsen

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