Al Otro Lado (To the Other Side)

Directed by Natalia Almada

70 minutes / Color
Spanish; English / English subtitles
Closed Captioned
Release: 2005
Copyright: 2005

Included on 5-disc box set Personal and Political: The Films of Natalia Almada.

The proud Mexican tradition of corrido music—captured in the performances of Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte and the late Chalino Sanchez—provides both heartbeat and backbone to this rich examination of songs, drugs and dreams along the U.S./Mexico border. Al Otro Lado follows Magdiel, an aspiring corrido composer from the drug capital of Mexico, as he faces two difficult choices to better his life: to traffic drugs or to cross the border illegally into the United States.

“A lyrical and beautiful account of border culture... humane, visually exquisite and resists simple descriptions.” —Robert Koehler, Variety

“The documentary is handsomely filmed, whether in sun-drenched landscapes or crowded nightclubs. It's not a history of corridos, which have roots that reach back to medieval songs; it's a glimpse of art running parallel to daily life.” —John Pareles, The New York Times

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Select Accolades

  • Best Editing & Special Jury Award, Cine Ceará - Ibero-american Film Festival 2006
  • Nominee, Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, Gotham Awards 2005
  • Cultural Voice Award, New York Latino International Film Festival 2005
  • Honorable Mention, Best Documentary, Morelia Film Festival 2005
  • Nominee, Best Documentary Feature, Tribeca Film Festival 2005
  • Vancouver International Film Festival 2005


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