From The Other Side

Directed by Chantal Akerman

99 minutes / Color
Spanish / English subtitles
Release: 2012
Copyright: 2002

Included on the same DVD as Chantal Akerman's South.

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." —The New York Times

Also available on DVD boxset Chantal Akerman: Four Films.

"Stunning! As human testimony [it's] unforgettably forceful." —The Nation

"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." —Film Comment

"An unsentimental look at paranoia, border-style, as natives rant about 'the daily war against the enemy." —The 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." —The Chicago Reader

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Select Accolades

  • 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


A self-portrait by experimental narrative and feminist Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman.

Chantal Akerman | 2001 | 64 minutes | Color | French | English subtitles

Four documentaries spanning two decades are included in this 5-disc box set, with a 16-page booklet and bonus film about the late filmmaker.

Chantal Akerman | 2016 | 419 minutes | Color | English; French; Spanish | English subtitles

A conversation with Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman about her films and her directorial philosophy.

Gustavo Beck and Leonardo Luiz Ferreira | 2012 | 62 minutes | Color | English

Chantal Akerman retraces a journey from the end of summer to deepest winter, from East Germany, across Poland and the Baltics, to Moscow. "One of the 10 Best Films of the 1990s."— J. Hoberman, Artforum

Chantal Akerman | 2003 | 110 minutes | Color | No dialog

Chantal Akerman follows choreographer Pina Bausch and her dance company on a European tour.

Chantal Akerman | 2013 | 57 minutes | Color | English; French | English subtitles

The heart of this journey is the brutal murder of James Byrd, Jr in Jasper, Texas. But this is not an anatomy of his murder, rather, it is an evocation of how this event fits in to a landscape and climate as much mental as physical.

Chantal Akerman | 2003 | 70 minutes | Color | English