"Close relationships between mother and son are a key feature of Latino culture - a traditional morality co-existing with extreme machismo, violence, and religiosity. Extensive interviews in twelve Latin American countries led us to Guatemala. José re thinks popular images of Latin America that often feature idyllic places and white faces but where most people are urbanized, poor and dark-skinned. It's a deeply troubled place, and the film elucidates what young people told us - finding a relationship here is an ‘impossible dream'".
Originally from China, Li Cheng moved to the United States in 1999 and is now a global nomad. Key references: Italian neorealism, Hou Hsiao-hsien. Key themes: struggle, crisis, hope. Cheng left bio-tech in 2007 to focus on film and his first feature, Joshua Tree (2014), is on the crisis of the American Dream. For his current film, José, he conducted research in twelve Latin American countries and lived in Guatemala for almost two years.