Here and There
Aquí y allá
Antonio Méndez Esparza’s assured debut feature explores the shifts that occur in a close-knit Mexican family when the father returns from a period spent working in the USA.
Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.
- Director-Screenwriter Antonio Méndez Esparza
- Producer Ori Dov Gratch, Tim Hobbs, Pedro Hernández Santos, Diana Wade, Antonio Méndez Esparza
- With Pedro de los Santos Juárez, Teresa Ramírez Aguirre, Lorena Guadalupe Pantaleón Vázquez
- Spain-USA-Mexico 2012
- 110 mins
- Sales Alpha Violet
The small village of Guerrero is the ‘here’ of a Mexican family whose dynamic shifts when pater familias Pedro returns from a period spent working in the USA. Pedro wants to remain in Mexico, creating a better life for himself, his wife Teresa and two daughters, and opts to put a musical band together called Copa Kings. Spending his savings on the venture, however, is no guarantee of success, and when a crisis ensues Pedro has to make some difficult decisions. Antonio Méndez Esparza’s assured debut feature – winner of the Grand Prix in Cannes’ Critics Week – treads a sensitive line between fiction and documentary with the non-professional cast bringing a serene dignity to the central roles. Moving delicately between the wider environment in which the family exists and more intimate domestic encounters, Here and There presents a thoughtful and atypical take on the subject of economic migration.
Here and There is a film about immigration, even though we never see the physical journey. We hear stories about it, we see someone leave, never to return, we hear the ‘radio announcer’ who fills the air of the village with his voice, requests, offers, ‘happy birthdays’, and always with ‘Please Doña Ines, go to the telephone booth, there is a call for you from the US.’ It is a film about the desire to leave, the fear to leave, and hope: the hope to build a house made from concrete after a few years of work in the US, the hope to marry someone you love, when you get back, with enough money to marry her. It is a film about struggle, but understanding it as a day-to-day fight, an everlasting act. It took me two years to finish the film, since we started. The actors are not professionals, they are all locals. Most are interpreting themselves. The film made me look and try to understand, try to reflect a life very different from most viewers’. We avoided the drama, we wanted to show a reality, almost common; we try to reflect the home of the protagonists. And there arose a very different film from that I wrote. About a place I did not knew but which made me part of it. About odd heroes of everyday life. About the little things. About the return, what we left behind, what we collect and the fear of losing everything.
Antonio Méndez Esparza
Raised in Madrid, he has lived in New York City, Mexico, and Madrid for most of the past decade. An MFA in Filmmaking from Columbia University, he saw his short film Una y otra vez named Best Narrative Short at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival. That picture also featured Pedro De los Santos as its lead actor, and avowedly led naturally to the development of Here and There, which took top honours in the Critics’ Week section at Cannes this year.
2009 Una y otra vez [s]
2012 Aquí y allá (Here and There)
Read the Time Out review.