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The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,840 users   Metascore: 38/100
Reviews: 83 user | 26 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

John Groberg, a farm kid from Idaho Falls, crosses an ocean to become a missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan islands during the 1950's.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Groberg
...
...
Feki (as Joseph Folau)
Nathaniel Lees ...
Kelepi
...
Lavania
Alvin Fitisemanu ...
Tomasi
Peter Sa'ena-Brown ...
Kuli
...
Asi
Apii McKinley ...
Noli
Paki Cherrington ...
Minister (as Te Paki Cherrington)
Jeremy Birchall ...
Edward
Ross Duncan ...
John's Father
Maggie Harper ...
John's Mother
Rick Leckinger ...
Photographer
Brian Richards ...
Crowd Member #1
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Storyline

John H. Groberg, a middle class kid from Idaho Falls, crosses the Pacific to become a Mormon missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan island kingdom during the 1950's. He leaves behind a loving family and the true love of his life, Jean. Through letters and musings across the miles, John shares his humbling and sometimes hilarious adventures with "the girl back home", and her letters buoy up his spirits in difficult times. John must struggle to overcome language barriers, physical hardship and deep-rooted suspicion to earn the trust and love of the Tongan people he has come to serve. Throughout his adventure-filled three years on the islands, he discovers friends and wisdom in the most unlikely places. John H. Groberg's Tongan odyssey will change his life forever. Written by Mary Jane Jones

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

idaho | love | missionary | 1950s | mormon | See All (34) »

Taglines:

An Epic Journey. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and brief disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eye of the Storm  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$55,765 (USA) (14 December 2001)

Gross:

$4,720,371 (USA) (27 November 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Deseret Book, the publisher of the biography on which the movie is based, never previously sold film rights to any of their books. Deseret Book is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and John Groberg was one of the presiding elders of the Church at the time of the sale. There was, therefore, a great concern as to how the Church would be portrayed which had to be satisfied before the rights were sold. The deal was completed, in large measure, because several key members of the production team were active members of the Church. See more »

Goofs

The film starts with a dance at Brigham Young University in 1953. A couple sing the song "Rip it Up". That song was first recorded by Little Richard in 1956. See more »

Quotes

[an island girl tries to seduce John]
John Groberg: This would never happen in Idaho!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lone Ranger
Courtesy of Golden Books Family Entertainment
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User Reviews

Stirring and deeply moving
8 April 2004 | by (Katy, Texas) – See all my reviews

I'm sorry that the adolescent ravings of the previous reviewer appear first. His profound failure to "get it" is an embarrassment.

First of all, this is about a young man of "white-bread" heritage casting aside all he has and all he is, even leaving the love of his life for two and a half years, in order to immerse himself in a culture about which he is totally ignorant so that he can offer them the greatest gift he has to offer: His faith.

Rather than "looking down" on the people he has come to SERVE, he bears great hardships, and exerts himself in ways he could never have conceived, in order to connect with these people. He comes to love them, profoundly.

And their love for him in return, even those who have reason to be suspicious of him, is a testament to his sincerity.

Please recall that this is a TRUE STORY. Whatever you might think of John Groberg's religion, or his motives, the fact is that these things actually happened in just this way. He DID travel from Idaho to Tonga, he did live among the people there, he did come to gain their trust, he did bring to them a precious gift of faith, and he did return often throughout the rest of his life, with his wife and family, to be among these people whom he loved.

That anyone could be so callously dismissive of this truth is a sad commentary on our "post-Christian" society.

But I found this film to be deeply moving and very satisfying, and I recommend it highly to those who enjoy inspiring film.


33 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
As a Christian, I still liked this movie.... ilovejesus2002
Is Annie Morman? Kajee2
rate this movie on a scale of 1 to 10 luvmonkey5
Not filmed in Tonga Luci_Mont
Will this ever be released on DVD?! ZoomIn1224
Name of song? k-mcdaniel
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