The Other Side of Immigration


Reviews by professors

Roy Germano’s The Other Side of Immigration does more than any other work to give people otherwise disparaged as “threatening” and “illegal” a human face and to reveal the devastating personal effects of U.S. immigration and economic policies on our closest neighbors. - Douglas S. Massey, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology, Princeton University


[The Other Side of Immigration] is beautifully shot, engaging and very clear in its main points. The fact that it is succinct and relatively short (55 mins) contributes to making it accessible for a range of non-expert audiences and a very useful teaching tool. Self-produced and shot while Germano was conducting interviews for his PhD in Political Science, the documentary is of very high quality. - Alexandra Delano, professor of Global Studies, The New School (Read full review published in Latino Studies)


An intelligent, thought-provoking, beautiful, and caring look at the costs of policies in Mexico and the United States that lead to illegal immigration by so many. It is an understatement to say that the film has made me think. - Liza Finkel, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the Graduate School of Education and professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Portland State University


I recommend The Other Side of Immigration with enthusiasm for a wide range of audiences, including community groups, higher education institutions, public schools, and policy makers. - Scott Fletcher, Dean of Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Lewis & Clark College



Reviews on Netflix

Absolutely, positively excellent. It really opened up my eyes! I have often been involved in conversation where the majority speaking are complaining about immigrants from Mexico. I never had much intelligent to say on the issue, so mostly kept my mouth shut, but this documentary has changed that. Now I have a LOT to say and hopefully I can encourage others to think more thoughtfully about this issue.


This is a wonderful look at a very pressing topic. I think the director finally gave a fair voice to the people that immigrate to the U.S. every year. Very well done and VERY eye opening to the fact that our current system is not working. This film was excellent.


This is NOT the kind of idealistic left-wing thing you expect it to be…it’s actually not political or left or right at all. This is an honest, piercing, rhetoric-free examination of the situation and possible solutions. It does not do any bashing of any kind—I can’t imagine any legitimate ideological viewpoint that could be fundamentally offended by this. Everyone will get something important from this documentary; whether you deliberately discard it afterwards is your responsibility.


This is not a liberal propaganda movie as much as as its a story about the Mexican people and their country. It is essentially about stories from two perspectives, a human perspective, how it affects families/micro-economies, and the bigger picture of Mexican government and its economy.


Finally the truth is unveiled. Thank you for opening the eyes of many people to a reality that has hurt Mexican families and individuals for decades. If we claim to be a country that helps other countries, we need to do the right thing in this case as well. Maybe we don’t because it is for our advantage that this situation stays this way. Awesome work, thank you Roy Germano.


I thought this movie was great because it was told from the perspective of people who have crossed the border, and it let them tell their story. The people in the film also address the Mexican government’s involvement in the issue, which I found was different from other documentaries.


I liked this a lot, but it may not be for everybody (despite the other glowing reviews on here). The key to understanding this film is that the director, Roy Germano, is not a filmmaker by training, but an academic. This film was part of his research for his Ph.D in political science at the University of Texas at Austin, and so it comes across as, well, kind of academic (though much simpler). Some might find that boring – there isnt really any dramatic imagery or cinematic flourishes, minus a few decent montages of the physical and cultural landscape* – but I found it refreshing. The vast majority of the film consists of very simple camera-on-tripod interviews. Dr. Germano doesnt add much, he just lets his interview subjects speak, allowing Americans to catch a glimpse of the human side of their neighbors to the south, and letting a key voice in the immigration debate to FINALLY be heard. If you have at least a token interest in social science, deal with immigrants on a regular basis, and/or you dont mind 55 minutes of talking heads (albeit articulate ones), then please check out this movie. Even if you dont fit any of the previously described categories, you should still see it anyways. *This film was released on Conor Obersts label, so he contributed to the soundtrack and is credited as an executive producer.


This is a great example of a film that reveals an often unheard side of an issue we think we know- immigration. It is a good watch- no matter what side of the debate you are on- because it isn’t about rhetoric it is an honest investigation of the issue.



Reviews on Amazon

With the immigration debate such a hot topic, this is one of the most important documentaries an American can watch. I was relieved to finally see a documentary that shows the true side of migration into the United States. This documentary takes a peak into the painful reasons why people leave their precious families to migrate to the United States. These immigrants sacrifice and risk their lives just to provide their families the basic necessities of life. This documentary was beautifully captured in Mexico and shows real human beings just telling how it really is. The Other Side of Immigration is a must see for anyone serious about the immigration topic.


This is among the best documentaries I have viewed. Very well done! With immigration a real “hot button” issue in our country, it is extremely important to see the other side of the problem. So often, we only think of our own personal views and experiences without any knowledge of what life is like for others. As was expressed in the film, there ARE solutions to this problem. The governments CAN find solutions if they want to, and try. This film was definitely worth the money! I wil be sharing it with small groups in my church who sincerely want what is best for ALL people ~ men, women, and children ~ no matter race or creed.


It was informative, gave a wide variety of perspectives from former migrants, government officials, and other community members regarding the issue of US/Mexican immigration


Revelatory. it humanizes the often-politicized topic of immigration it encourages true dialogue and exchange of ideas. Great film that encourages a more reflective consideration.


This film gives a very balanced look at undocumented immigration and how it is played out in the local level. Use it as a kick start for yearly immigration project.


This is an amazing, eye opening documentary. Your heart will go out to this people. You will realize how you take so many things for granted that others have to leave behind in an effort to survive. This is real, it goes deep to the real issue and the root of the problem. Loved it and I am sure you will too!


This is a powerful movie that accurately describes the reasons for our immigration situation. This should be required viewing for anyone, who has an opinion about the situation in Mexico and how corruption, dishonesty and incompetence of the Mexican government has forced the citizens of Mexico to go across the border to survive.


This documentary has givin me so much insight and understanding of what these people are going through and what pushes them north. Between NAFTA and government corruption they have no chance at a descent living. I to would do what ever it takes to provide for my family.I only wish my fellow countrymen/woman that look down on these people would educate themselves on this matter.


This is an excellent documentary about undocumented immigrants in the U.S. from the perspective of the people who come here and the ones that stay behind. Powerful and enthralling, the interviews tell about the experiences that people have had, both in Mexico and in the U.S., and why they continue to cross the border. This is a powerful documentary that sheds light on a growing issue that is extremely one-sided in the media coverage. This is a must see, and gives a voice to the people who come to the U.S. each year by means of grueling journeys.


I first saw this film at a screening in my university and I absolutely loved it. It gave me great insight into the lives of ordinary Mexicans who come to the United States looking for opportunity and work. In a time when America is so divided and xenophobic, I believe this video will help further our understanding of the reasons why so many Mexicans migrate into the United States as political and economic refugees each year. I recommend this film to anyone who may want to learn more about our neighbors in Mexico.


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