Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

From the Other Side 2002

De l’autre côté

Directed by Chantal Akerman

Belgium / France In English, French and Spanish with English subtitles
99 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay, Narrator


Raymond Fromont
Robert Fenz
Chantal Akerman


Claire Atherton


Cannes (Special Screening), Edinburgh 2002; Rotterdam 2003


“A rare blend of art film and hot-button issue documentary, Akerman’s depiction of the Mexicans who risk death to cross the border into the US where they work illegally – sometimes for the same people who tried to hunt them down during their passage – is formally precise, economical but never simplistic in its analysis, and extremely moving. Akerman alternates ravishingly composed portrait shots of subjects talking directly to camera with travelling shots of the inhospitable terrain of desert and highways, viewed most chillingly through the border patrol’s aerial radarscopes. The film ends with a story about a middle-aged Mexican woman who moves from job to job before going missing in Los Angeles. Read off-camera by Akerman in the husky voice that is the most expressive element in her cinema, it gives palpable presence to those who are rendered invisible by our refusal to engage with their basic human needs.” — Amy Taubin, Sight & Sound