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  • From the Other Side / South
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From the Other Side / South


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Product Details

  • Actors: na
  • Directors: Chantal Akerman
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Icarus Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0071WQ9MI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,673 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With her unmistakable style, Akerman examines the risks taken by undocumented immigrants from Mexico crossing over to Arizona. Exploring Agua Prieta, Mexico, Douglas, Arizona, and the desert in between, she mixes beautiful and evocative landscapes with interviews with the families of immigrants, American sheriffs, fearful locals, and advocates. In a post-9/11 America in the grips of rising xenophobia and in the midst of a contentious debate on border control, Akerman 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) A bonus disc will include another film by Chantal Akerman, South, a documentary that was originally planned as a meditation on the American south, inspired by Akerman s love of William Faulkner and James Baldwin, and intended to serve as both an echo and a counterpoint to her earlier documentary, From the East, a film made about a journey through Eastern Europe in the early nineties. However, the focus of the film was dramatically altered following a brutal murder that took place during its development. In Jasper, Texas, James Byrd Jr., an African-American man, was severely beaten by three white men, then chained to their truck and dragged three miles through the county. Akerman situates this hate crime within the context of the surrounding community and landscape, exploring the reactions of the citizens in Jasper and allowing the story to unfold on its own in a pensive and respectful fashion.

Review

Stunning! As human testimony [it's] unforgettably forceful. --Stuart Klawans, The Nation

A spare, painterly and scrupulously unsentimental look at the plight of illegal Mexican immigrants massed at the United States border. Both eerily beautiful and filled with a quiet compassion. --Dave Kehr, The New York Times

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

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 27, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The issue of Mexicans trying to cross illegally into the US in search of work and hope is examined with a
mix of styles by Akerman, something like her approach to racial issue in the US in 'Sud'. Long, wordless
images, give us a poetic sense of time and place --sometimes still, sometimes tracking endlessly (one shot
is nearly eight minutes).

Intercut with these are affecting interviews with people on both 'sides' (literally and figuratively) of the issue.
From those in Mexico who have lost loved ones forever as they wandered in the desert, to the US sheriff who
provides a strikingly cogent sum up of the situation, and a powerful blast at current INS policies that have led
to many deaths without stopping the problem, even as he also explains the emotional threat these 'intruders'
represent to the rural Americans who live near the border.

This doesn't have quite the power of 'Sud', perhaps because the issue is more complex and diffuse, but it's still a
powerful call for human caring trumping political concerns, told in a unique, slow, meditative way. It will drive
some people crazy with it's pace and refusal to act like a 'normal' documentary, instead of a tone poem. But, for \
me, Akerman's work rewards patience by leaving you with not just ideas or impotent anger of agreement or
disagreement, but complex, haunted feelings that stay with you for days.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 27, 2012
Format: DVD
Both these films have real strengths, although I find South (aka Sud)
the more powerful.

Sud is an odd mix of old and new styles for Akerman. And while there are difficult,
slow patches, the overall effect is shockingly powerful. For about 15 minutes the
film resembles her earlier cinema photo montages that give a sense of time and place
only through raw image and sound, the camera still, or slowly moving past often seemingly
random images that somehow add up to a coherent whole (as in D'Est,and Hotel Monterey).

But, in Sud, suddenly there are head on interviews, a shockingly 'normal' style for this
experimental film-maker, talking first about racism in the South and how it has (and
hasn't ) changed, and then about the infamous James Byrd case, where, in 1998, an African
American was dragged to his death for 3 miles behind a pick-up truck by a trio of young
white supremacists.

We realize that the town and place of that horrific murder, Jasper, is what we've been
looking at for 15 minutes and It changes our whole perspective. We follow the Byrd
story through interviews with African-American friends and neighbors, white police
and reporters, and by watching a memorial service for Byrd, as well as an interview
with an expert about the white power movement and how it functions in the modern
day world.

Some of this feels rough, and almost shockingly amateurish, moving, but sometimes
without focus.
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