De l'autre côté
RETROSPECTIVE CHANTAL AKERMAN
This story is sad and is happening to millions of people all around the globe, along more and more borders. Here, we find ourselves between the United States and Mexico. California has become unreachable and some people, desperate enough to try their luck, are heading east, crossing deserts and mountains, hoping to find "the gates" to the inhospitable Arizona.
Akerman films in the city of Agua Prieta (Sonora, Mexico) and on the other side of it, in Douglas (USA). She films along the border. She films the desert. Slow long-shots. We have no choice but to dive in the image. We meet people who plan to cross the desert to the US or have attempted to do so, families of Mexican migrants who have lost their lives on that road, but also American Sheriffs and paranoid white locals.
As Chantal Akerman gives us time, we soon start to feel as though we are experiencing the journey of the illegal people she speaks of or with. This enables us to fully consider them, to understand their desire for a better life, which most of them believe will be facilitated by relocating and settling in America. We can see the hypocrisy inherent to the US immigration policy and its stubborn inability to recognize the economic dependence of the US on undocumented people. We are caught in the middle of the pervert trap. (by Vanina Vignal)
awards and festivals
Vienna International Film Festival 2011 / International Film Festival Rotterdam 2003 / Wisconsin Film Festival 2003 / Terra di Siena Film Festival 2002