The Other Side of the Wall (Al otro lado del muro)

Director(s): Pau Ortiz
Country: Spain
Language: Spanish w/ English subtitles
Documentary | 2017 | 68 min
Recommended for ages 10+ (Parental Guidance: smoking, imprisonment of parent)

This documentary offers an extraordinary and tender examination of family life in ways that feel both personal and universal. When their mother is imprisoned, Ale and his sister Rocio’s relationship is faced with the greatest challenge possible: they must work together to parent their two young siblings.They promise to help each other and keep their family together until their mother is released, but as undocumented Honduran immigrants, living, working and studying in Mexico is difficult. Soon the prison wall that keeps their mother away gives rise to other emotional barriers that prevent the brother and sister from understanding each other. Just as they start to lose hope the family’s life takes an unexpected twist.

Important note from the director:

In 2014 I worked for a non-profit organization which helps convicted women, overseeing their cases and helping their re-introduction to society. I met Rocío and Alejandro’s mother on one of my visits to prison, and I was immediately struck by her energy and clear-headedness in such a terrible environment. The other inmates had a great respect for her.

The moment I pointed my camera at them and conducted my first interview I felt drawn to them, and I was particularly intrigued by the way they were handling the situation. The whole thing seemed to me like an extremely difficult predicament, but here I saw two courageous individuals with a great sense of humor who were willing to keep fighting. And I deeply admired them.

I later found out more about their story. Their life had been full of ups and downs from an early age, but the family had stayed together and remained strong through all of it. That history had turned them into very unique individuals; they were a great, tight-knit family and their ties were deep and complex.

• Hot Docs “Best International Feature Documentary” 2017
• Málaga Film Festival (Spain) Special Mention of the Jury 2017
• DocsBarcelona “Latitud Award (Best Ibero-American Feature Documentary)” 2017
• Zurich Film Festival Special Mention (International Documentary Competition) 2017
• Chicago Film Festival “GOLDEN HUGO – Best International Documentary” 2017

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