Human Rights Watch Festival 2018: Our Review Of ‘The Other Side Of Everything’

Human Rights Watch Festival 2018: Our Review Of ‘The Other Side Of Everything’

The Other Side of Everything begins in the Belgrade apartment of Srbijanka Turajlic, educator, activist, and rebel. In her home stands a door that has remained locked for 70-years. Mila Turajlic’s (Srbijanka’s daughter) new documentary, The Other Side of Everything, uses her family’s home as a jumping off point to tell a broader story about Serbia’s political turmoil.

Yugoslavia underwent a communist revolution after World War II. Once in power, the communists felt the bourgeoisie had “Too much,” and began claiming large living spaces and giving them to the poor. One morning, a woman from State Security showed up at Srbijanka’s home. She walked in, closed a sliding door, and announced the apartment officially divided. The decision forced Srbijanka’s family of six to make due with a space half the size of what they had before. Families moved into the new sections which made for awkward living conditions. And to paraphrase Srbijanka, “The apartments represent Belgrade, with its deep division between bourgeoisie and proletariat with no socializing between the two.”

The Other Side of Everything is most interested in exploring one question: What is our moral responsibility during times of crisis? We all like to think we would do the right thing when facing civil unrest but most people don’t rise to the challenge. It takes a special individual to run to the front of the pack and stick their neck out for what they believe in. Srbijanka considers it a moral obligation to do what’s right and we see her in action as she talks us through old protest footage.

The Other Side of Everything is a dry watch and tough to follow if you’re clueless about Serbian history. But those willing to engage with the dense material will find a rich tale of courage, sacrifice, and disillusionment.

The Other Side of Everything plays as a part of the Human Rights Watch Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox this Sunday Apr. 22nd at 3:30 PM.

This post was written by
Victor Stiff is a Toronto-based freelance writer and pop culture curator. Victor currently contributes insights, criticisms, and reviews to several online publications where he has extended coverage to the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Toronto After Dark, Toronto ComiCon, and Fan Expo Canada. Victor has a soft spot in his heart for Tim Burton movies and his two poorly behaved beagles (but not in that order).
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