It's a story as old as the world and yet more relevant every day. And every day more terrible. There are poor people who, regardless of their lives, sometimes have to leave everything behind in order to try to survive, to live elsewhere. But they are not wanted elsewhere, and if they are wanted it is because of their workforce. They do what we no longer want, and that is when we are ready to pay the others to do it for us. To pay, yes, but badly. In this film, the elsewhere is North America, and the poor are mostly Mexicans. For years, they crossed through San Diego, but the US Immigration Services has managed to stop the flood of illegal immigrants in this part of California and divert it to the deserts and mountains of Arizona where they thought the difficulties, dangers, cold and heat would stop them. But you can’t stop someone who’s hungry. But we fear him. Fear of the other, fear of his defilement, fear of the diseases that he may bring with him. Fear of being invaded. (Chantal Akerman)
Claire Atherton is a film editor. In 1986, she started working with Chantal Akerman on Letters Home, which triggered a thirty-year collaboration. She has worked with a wide range of artists and filmmakers, notably with Eric Baudelaire, whose Un film dramatique is shown in this festival edition as well.
De l'autre côté was edited by Claire Atherton and partly shot by Robert Fenz (Artist in Focus Courtisane festival 2011), who sadly passed away in August 2020.
English and Spanish spoken, English subtitles