For Serbian filmmaker Mila Turajlic, a locked door in her mother’s apartment in Belgrade provides the gateway to both her remarkable family history and her country’s tumultuous political inheritance.
In her first documentary feature, Cinema Komunisto, Mila Turajlic traced the rise and fall of her native Yugoslavia though a history of its cinema. The film was imbued with nostalgia for what Tito's experiment might have been, while also chronicling the state's excesses and absurdities. Her new film follows the trajectory of Serbia from the perspective of her mother, Srbijanka. From communism to Milosevic to today's resurgent nationalists, she's been a public voice of resistance to multiple regimes. Nostalgia for the past has given way to confronting the politics of the present.
As a title, The Other Side of Everything has multiple meanings. It refers to the other side of a doorway in the apartment where Srbijanka grew up and still lives. Like many large apartments, under communism her home was divided in 1945 to accommodate multiple families. A double doorway in her living room has remained locked ever since. For Mila, what lies on the other side is a mystery.
The film also delivers a look at the "other side" of their homeland's complicated national history. Over the course of several months, Mila and Srbijanka engage in probing and humorous dialogues over Serbia's past, present, and future. Their country has typically gotten more media attention for its war criminals than its dissidents. This poignant film lets us into a world we've seldom seen.