THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN
What if a parallel universe truly exists? This idea forms the starting point for The Other Side of Town, an observational documentary that portrays two villages identical in name: Bakel in Senegal and Bakel in The Netherlands. The more than six thousand kilometers that separates the two locations has allowed them to flourish into two analogous worlds. They however turn out to have more in common than just their village name. By mirroring the lives of a myriad of villagers in both Bakels, coincidence is put to the ultimate test. What initially seems to be a comparison of black versus white gradually becomes a more colourful and nuanced picture.
In The Other Side of Town we enter a microcosm that bathes in nostalgia: two sleepy villages that slowly awake in the dawn of globalization and the great march of civilization. Through them we investigate what progress and modernity mean, developments that slowly make their appearance in both villages. From the loss of religion and community values, to the growing domination of television and pop culture, more and more cracks gradually become visible in the otherwise utopian biotopes. What coping mechanisms do people use when change arrives? And what does that say about us as human beings?
While some villagers board the train of modern day, others stick to their nostalgic ideas of what the village once was. What remains are two villages in a similar despair, some desperately longing for the past, while others desperately dreaming of the other Bakel. Precisely through these constant comparisons, a universal portrait of humankind is revealed, playing with clichés and filled with paradoxes.
Length: 52 minutes
Language: Dutch, French, English, Soninké, Wolof, Bambara, Arabic
Subtitles: English, Dutch, French
Format: Anamorphic (2.35)
29th of September 2018 | Dutch Film Festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands (world premiere).
Screened inside the Golden Calf Competition, the most prestigious award in the Dutch film industry.
Written & directed by: Willem Timmers
Camera: Myrthe Mosterman
Sound: Jaap Sijben
Additional sound: Joris Schouten, Leleane Lindenaar
Editor: Jos Driessen NCE
Sound design & mix: Vincent Sinceretti
Composer: Juho Nurmela
Additional music: Ella van der Woude
Film coach: Joost Seelen
Foley artist: Vladimir Rakic
Foley mixer: Vera Galesev
Colorist: Sander van Wijk - MediaMonks
Graphic design: Amira Daoudi
Post-production: Rob Maas - Postready
Omroep Brabant: Lout Donders
Production assistant: Chayenne Lokker
Line producer: Anjet Blinde
Producer: Ilja Kok
The Other Side of Town is produced by Copper Views Film Productions
in co-production with Omroep Brabant in the context of Brabantse Beauties.
With the financial support of Dutch Cultural Media Fund and VSBfonds.