September 25, 2017 SFM Admin

Smoke-Free TIFF Presents: Life and Nothing More


Life and Nothing More (2017)

Reviewed by: Saadia Sarker

Life and Nothing More was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and is rated 14A. It is Spanish drama film both directed and written by Antonio Mendez Esparza.  It tells a story about a 14-year old boy, Andrew, and his mom, Regina, and the struggle they face living in Florida. The film explores privilege and systemic racism, while also balancing it with family ties and Andrew’s process of growing into a young man. Andrew is torn between remaining young yet having to take on more adult responsibilities while his mother must maintain her strength despite all odds to keep her family going.

The film felt very raw, yet real. I enjoyed that it used different character perspectives to explore the nuances and struggles of everyday life. The hardships faced by many African-Americans through institutional setbacks is shown remarkably in the film. The film resonates quite a few times that life for some may be harder to live due to the circumstances and cards life has dealt them.

Was there smoking in the movie? Yes, there was tobacco use.

tobacco impressions


Who is smoking? Regina, Andrew’s mother is found smoking throughout the film. Robert also smokes once.

What was happening in the scene with smoking?  

The film had a total of five scenes of tobacco usage:

  • Regina smoking a cigarette in the kitchen, with her kids around
  • Regina smoking while talking to co-workers during break
  • Regina smoking again w/ friends outside of work during break
  • Robert smoking in the house, while sitting on the couch and talking to Andrew
  • Regina smoking while sitting on her bed in her room and scrolling through her phone

Would you notice if the smoking was taken out of the movie? If the smoking was removed from the film, I do not think I would have noticed.

Did the movie show the real health effects and consequences of tobacco use? While I understand the scenes containing smoking were intended to implicate the stress some of the characters in the film were experiencing, the movie did not show the real health effects or consequences of that tobacco use.  The film, however, does explores factors which may influence a person’s decision and circumstances to begin smoking.


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