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The Other Side2015

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  • 3.9
In an invisible territory at the margins of society lives a wounded community who face the threat of being forgotten by political institutions and having their rights as citizens trampled. Disarmed veterans, taciturn adolescents, drug addicts trying to escape addiction through love; ex-special forces soldiers still at war with the world; floundering young women and future mothers; and old people who have not lost their desire to live. Through this hidden pocket of humanity, renowned documentarian Roberto Minervini opens a window to the abyss of today's America.

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7 members like this review

This film leaves me profoundly sad. I kept saying to myself, "Keep an open mind", but I came up against lots of conflicts between my "values" and those that seem to unroll before me. I am at a different place, a seemingly different time. They have each other but they seem so alone.

I will remember: "I wish I could take away all your pain." , "I've gotta get clean.", "I love you." , "The UN is coming." , "Fox News."

The technicians and actor and the director and the film crews (cameras, editing) did a really good job at presenting life that seems so sad. Yet those surviving that life, the survivors, seem to be doing pretty much what I would be doing had I grown up there. This is a very good film. A good documentary presents the situation/problems, but isn't supposed to provide solutions. That is up to us and them - but I don't know where to begin. Maybe by watching the film again? Maybe by surprising myself in discovering that the "others" are people just like me.

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top reviewer
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Member Reviews (16)

2e96eff8174b408fe68458c53c86b24b?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0025
top reviewer

This film leaves me profoundly sad. I kept saying to myself, "Keep an open mind", but I came up against lots of conflicts between my "values" and those that seem to unroll before me. I am at a different place, a seemingly different time. They have each other but they seem so alone.

I will remember: "I wish I could take away all your pain." , "I've gotta get clean.", "I love you." , "The UN is coming." , "Fox News."

The technicians and actor and the director and the film crews (cameras, editing) did a really good job at presenting life that seems so sad. Yet those surviving that life, the survivors, seem to be doing pretty much what I would be doing had I grown up there. This is a very good film. A good documentary presents the situation/problems, but isn't supposed to provide solutions. That is up to us and them - but I don't know where to begin. Maybe by watching the film again? Maybe by surprising myself in discovering that the "others" are people just like me.

7 members like this review
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top reviewer

Stunning, eye-opening, unflinching look at "free" America. Minervini and Romero have created a portrait of love, addiction, family, poverty, and escapism that reveals our broken, crumbling sense of nationalism. This film is an important work and a rare representation of the truth ever threatening to divide people from their government. The final scene was a perfect metaphor.

3 members like this review

A must-see. Life in the US has become surreal, impossible to believe that what is happening is real, and this documentary is disturbing more than any David Lynch movie.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

One of those wandering non-narratives about scummy Americans done in exquisite cinematography, however there are better incarnations of the same idea in Donne's OXYANA and FLORIDA MAN, and Korine's GUMMO.

1 member likes this review

Difficult to watch, even harder to look away... Bordered on exploitive but an important film nonetheless.

1 member likes this review

This film definitely had an incredibly captivating story and cinematography, but definitely did itself a disservice by being a pseudo documentary. The whole film reads as only half true from the beginning, but what grabs you the most throughout it is that the filmmakers just happen to be there and present in these extremely tense and intimate situations. Otherwise, this is a truly fantastic and difficult to watch film.

1 member likes this review

This film is profoundly disturbing and fascinating. We know these people exist in America, but how much sympathy I felt was shocking. The unbelievable poverty that is part mind, gut and culture creating a reality we on "The Other Side", are ashamed of and want to deny.

It's astonishing that while "they" want to kill Obama, the black President, they have adopted the hip-hop culture of music, dress and language they exist to destroy.

I'm also amazed by the captivating characters, especially Mark, whom, given different circumstances could have made an amazing contribution to society.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Because I don't live in Roberto Minervini's America, I have to wonder if all of the states between New York and California are like this. It looks pretty real but will they really start a civil war over the 2nd Amendment? And did that pregnant stripper actually shoot speed for real or was that staged? The part where the guys said they supported Hillary Clinton really threw me for a loop, I didn't see that one coming.

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Grim. Grimmer. Grimmest. And aimed to shock.

In the hands of a lesser filmmaker, THE OTHER SIDE would easily fall into snobby exploitation of this conservative community. Minervini never thumbs his nose at his subjects, even as they go on racist rants, preach about the government taking their guns, and even shoot up methamphetamine throughout. As disagreeable as I am with politics and lifestyle of everyone onscreen, the film manages to extrapolate some strong heart and empathy within their lives. It is a tremendous and important achievement. Minervini's non-judgemental approach to backwoods society and ideology has humanity at its core that is vastly lacking in the American Left.

I can imagine this film being valuable for some. To me, it felt exploitative.

Portion of the documentary of the bleak and hopeless lives of drug users was both saddening and depressing; when the film shifted to show the gun advocates preparing to defend their gun rights against a UN invasion to impose martial law, and the sheer racism that accompanied that, it turned to really scary.

Stopped watching after 5 minutes as I smelt a meth-mcguffin. I perceived this as a contrived and too polished fly-on-the-wall account of an actor playing the oppressed martyr. I could be wrong but a lot of these new wave docu's just don't ring true for me. Maybe because I was weened on 1970's British docu's...

a side splitting rollicking modern day sitcom to be appreciated by people from all walks of life. The real eye opener was Hillary Clinton's "base". Been seeing all of this goin on for the last 15 years or so, and it's good that this movie is here to enlighten the uninitiated. WE NEED MORE (movies like this)

I thought it very interesting and in ways sad Makes you want to self evaluate

What was staged, what was real?

I thought it was a bit exploitative.

The poverty in the first half is overwhelming and the means to escape temporary.

The macho brotherhood in the second half seemed to be the only means of empowerment

for them.