If you missed Texas-via-Italy filmmaker Roberto Minervini’s 2015 documentary, The Other Side, you’re not alone. So did we and evidently most everybody else. Peter Debruge of Variety called it “a soul-draining, feature-length look at the bastard stepchildren of the American Dream” with good reason. Although Minervini’s film isn’t explicit about its location, it was filmed in the West Monroe area of northeast Louisiana and follows for the first half a drug-addicted couple and, in the second half, militia members convinced — even in 2015 — that President Obama will declare martial law any day and try to confiscate their very big, powerful firearms.
As Debruge concludes:
It’s enough to make Americans feel ashamed of their countrymen, which is evidently the opposite reaction from what Minervini intended. In one scene, tears well in Jim’s eyes as he reads the poem stuck to his fridge: “To all those who feel worthless,” it begins. That may as well be the film’s own dedication line, miraculously managing to find a serene beauty amid so much desperation and squalor, honoring its characters without letting them off easy.