‘Life and Nothing More’: How a Spanish-Born Filmmaker Made a Sensitive Portrait of a Working Class African American Life

  • Indiewire
Spanish-born filmmaker Antonio Méndez Esparza’s second feature, “Life and Nothing More,” is a sensitive portrait of an African-American working class family struggling on the margins of society. In a tense climate teeming with fiery debates over authorship in race and representation in film and TV, it’s hard to ignore that the movie has been made by an outsider. But Esparza knows this space well: His first feature, “Aquí y allá,” captured a working class* Mexican family in Mexico. He has embraced the challenge on both occasions.

“I’m always questioning my own subjectivity, my own perspective,” he said. “If you look at both of the films I’ve made, I only focus on what I see, which I admit could render me blind to certain things, but, as an outsider, that was my only solution. I have to approach each world like I am a total stranger to it,
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