El Otro Barrio (The Other Side) (2000)




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Ramon (Jorge Alcazar), a shy and overweight 15-year-old, invites a school friend and the pal's girlfriend over one day to watch a video of Natural Born Killers. As luck and a heavy dose of irony would have it, Ramon accidentally slashes his friend's throat while tearing open a can of nuts, causing the girlfriend to flee in terror and a concerned neighbor to intervene, whom Ramon unwittingly knocks down the stairs to his death. Soon the unfortunate teen has been placed in a halfway house for troubled youths while his case awaits a full inquiry. Enter Marcelo (Alex Casanovas), a successful lawyer who has taken on Ramon's case as a favor to the teen's sister Gloria (Pepa Pedroche), who happens to be an old friend. Slowly Ramon begins to trust Marcelo and a friendly social worker (Guillermo Toledo), and forms a friendship with his ailing roommate, Anibal (Alberto Ferreiro). Ramon's emotional development is mirrored by that of Marcelo, whose involvement with the case forces him to come to grips with issues in his own life. El Otro Barrio is the second feature of writer/director Salvador Garcia Ruiz, who made a splash on the international festival circuit with his 1998 debut Mensaka. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi


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