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Posted 18 Dec 2001   For week ended December 14, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 14Dec01

By Blair Larsen

Review: The Other Side of Heaven

PROVO, UTAH -- "The Other Side of Heaven" is the film adaptation of Elder John H. Groberg's book "Eye of the Storm." Taking place in the 1950's, "The Other Side of Heaven" starts out as a nostalgic period piece and becomes a coming-of-age epic. John Groberg (Christopher Gorham-- "A Life Less Ordinary) leaves his family and girlfriend (Anne Hathaway-- "The Princess Diaries") to serve a mission for the LDS church in the Kingdom of Tonga.

It is the adventure of a lifetime. An Idaho-raised young man answers the call to serve a mission in the south pacific-- a region completely opposite from his home. Plagued by mosquitos, hurricanes and an irritated Baptisit minister, Groberg learns not only to live in the Tongan Islands, but to serve and make a difference in the lives of others.

Producers John Garbett ("Shrek") and Gerald Molen ("Schindler's List") collaborate writer/director Mitch Davis in telling an uplifting and beautiful story. Shot in the Cook Islands, Rarotonga, and New Zealand, the film abounds in beautiful scenery, captured by Brian Breheny's rich cinematography.

Christopher Gorham's excellent performance shows the evolution of an ignorant, but well-meaning boy into a grown man, powerful teacher and great leader. Joe Folau is fantastic and humorous in the supporting role of Feki, Groberg's missionary companion.

In a day of film filled with mindless violence, immorality and other inappropriate content, this film is like a breath of fresh air. Uplifting and thought-provoking, "The Other Side of Heaven" is guaranteed to leave you feeling better coming out of the theater than when you came in.

"The Other Side of Heaven" opens tomorrow at select theaters along the Wasatch Front in Utah. It will be available at more theaters in Utah starting December 21st, and its distribution is expected to expand from there.

The Other Side of Heaven
Blair Larsen 8Dec01 A2


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