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From the Other Side

Chantal Akerman
Belgique, France, 2002
Production : AMIP, ARTE France cinéma, Carré-Noir RTBF, Paradise films

Anglais, Espagnol, Français
Français, Anglais


In the United States, poor people are, for the most part, Mexican. For years, they crossed through San Diego, but the US Immigration Services has managed to stop the flood of illegal immigrants in this part of California and divert it to the deserts and mountains of Arizona where they thought the difficulties, dangers, cold and heat would stop them. But you can’t stop someone who’s hungry. And on the other side, the fear of invaders leads to violent thoughts.

Tënk's film review

“De l'autre côté”("From the Other Side") is part of a diptych with “Sud” (“South”), another film presented in the Filmmaker in Focus category, and also part of a triptych with “D'Est” (“From the East”) – illustrating the spatial continuities and discontinuities, the present and the long march of history.  Chantal Akerman addresses both the imaginary and the materiality of the border between Mexico and the US, the Hollywood dreams that glitter from the other side and the reality, trivial at best and all too often terrible, deadly and disgusting. The director often focuses on the landscapes, and sometimes on the bodies and words, organising an intense circulation between them – history tragically repeating itself, not with a literal equivalence, but in the form of an inevitable and chilling echo. This superb political tirade is also depressingly topical, confirming (if confirmation were needed) that violence is the USA’s greatest curse.

Arnaud Hée
Programmer, teacher and critic

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Chantal Akerman

Chantal Akerman was a Belgian director who was born in Brussels in 1950 and died in Paris in 2015. As the 1970s dawned, her portrayal of women’s worlds and characters offered a new cinematic perspective on women. Considered one of the most prominent figures of modern cinema, she imposed her own personal signature (sequence shots, filming in real time), setting a precedent and influencing an entire generation of filmmakers. Akerman was a very eclectic author, making dramas, installations and a musical as well as devoting some of her work to documentaries including the films “Sud”, “De L'Autre Côté” and “No Home Movie”.

Other films in the collection: Filmmaker in focus