De l'autre côté

  • 99'
  • France
  • 2002
The other side in the title refers to the border between Mexico and the United States. Seen from the point of view of Mexicans who want clandestinely to conquer the fortress that the Americans have made of their border, The Other Side is an almost inaccessible paradise. Akerman mainly films around Arizona, where an inhospitable desert forms a natural and almost impenetrable barrier. There are two small towns, one on each side of the border fence. On one side is Agua Prieta, full of Mexicans waiting for their chance, and on the other is Douglas, with its border police and armed farmers. Every night, they play a lugubrious cat and mouse game with very slim chances for the illegal Mexicans. The great paradox is that American agriculture desperately needs the labour of the illegal immigrants who do manage to cross the border. Akerman uses long dolly shots along the border and meticulously composed interviews with those involved (illegal Mexicans, border police and farmers) to sketch a beautiful portrait of the fatal stalemate on the border between a very rich and a very poor country.The film forms part of a larger project that is also given shape in the form of an installation. This installation, also part of this programme, can be seen in the exhibition spaces of the Witte de With Arts Centre.
Chantal Akerman
Country of production
Festival Edition
IFFR 2003
International title
The Other Side
English, Spanish, French
AMIP, Doc & Co
Chantal Akerman