A film by Antonio Méndez Esparza
2017, 114 minutes
No. 226


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.

Winner, John Cassavetes Award, Film Independent Spirit Awards
Nominee, Audience Award, AFI Fest
Nominee, Best American Indepdendent Feature Film, Cleveland International Film Festival
Nominee, Audience Award, Glasgow Film Festival

“Critic’s 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 Paradise and Killer of Sheep. Regina Williams’ 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