With her unmistakable style Chantal Akerman ("Arguably the most important European director of her generation." —J. Hoberman, The Village Voice) explores the border between the United States and Mexico.
For years immigrants passed through San Diego, but cutting-edge technologies have helped stem the flow of illegal immigration there. This leaves only the mountains and deserts of Arizona for those desperate enough to try their luck. And it is here that Akerman shifts her focus, between Agua Prieta, Sonora, and Douglas, Arizona, and the desert in between.
Mixing evocative landscapes with interviews with the families of immigrants, American sheriffs, fearful locals, and advocates, FROM THE OTHER SIDE is "A spare, painterly and scrupulously unsentimental look. Both eerily beautiful and filled with a quiet compassion." —Dave Kehr, The New York Times.
"Stunning! As human testimony [it's] unforgettably forceful."—Stuart Klawans, The Nation
2005 National Women's Studies Association Film Festival
2003 Award of Merit in Film, Latin American Studies Association
2002 Cannes Film Festival
2002 Leipzig International Documentary Festival
2003 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
"Chilling! Stunningly composed... In a few deft interviews [the film] shows the hypocrisy and paranoia involved in U.S. immigration policy and its failure to acknowledge the economic dependence of the U.S. on undocumented laborers."—Amy Taubin, Film Comment
"An unsentimental look at paranoia, border-style, as natives rant about 'the daily war against the enemy.'"—Chicago Sun-Times
"Insightful and visually interesting ... Without pushing the agenda too hard, the filmmaker quietly uncovers the presiding desire for a better life, adequate housing and family support most of the subjects believe the move to America will facilitate."—Variety
"Sensitive portraiture and investigative journalism. Ackerman's respectful, inquisitive distance from her subjects recalls some of Walker Evans' photographs.—Chicago Reader