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The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

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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 overview, first billed only:
John Groberg
Feki (as Joseph Folau)
Alvin Fitisemanu ...
Peter Sa'ena-Brown ...
Whetu Fala ...
Apii McKinley ...
Paki Cherrington ...
Minister (as Te Paki Cherrington)
Ross Duncan ...
John's Father
Maggie Harper ...
John's Mother
Rick Leckinger ...
Brian Richards ...
Crowd Member #1


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 (35) »


An Epic Journey. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eye of the Storm  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Cast member John Paekau died of a heart attack shortly after production wrapped. A dedication is made to him in the closing credits. See more »


The telegram to John Groberg uses the actual punctuation mark, the period, but also uses the word "stop." A telegram did not have punctuation marks substituting the word "stop" for the period. It would not have had both as did the telegram in the film. See more »


John Groberg: You know how far that light had to travel to shine on you?
Jean Sabin: I guess I don't.
John Groberg: 92,300,000 miles, give or take. You know what else?
Jean Sabin: What?
John Groberg: I think it was worth the trip.
See more »


Referenced in The R.M. (2003) See more »


The Lone Ranger
Courtesy of Golden Books Family Entertainment
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User Reviews

Exceptionally well made independent film.
14 March 2003 | by (Orlando, FL) – See all my reviews

This exceptionally well made, independently produced film is a heart warming tribute to the human spirit. The production team of Mitch Davis, John Corbett, and Gerry Molen(the Oscar winning producer of Schindler's list) are to be commended for the excellent job of presenting this story. It's refreshing to see economic success come for a family centered movie.

The special effects in the hurricane scenes were as good as any big budget movie production, yet maintained their focus on the central characters in the film. I hope to see more from this talented production team in the future.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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As a Christian, I still liked this movie.... ilovejesus2002
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rate this movie on a scale of 1 to 10 luvmonkey5
Not filmed in Tonga Luci_Mont
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Will this ever be released on DVD?! ZoomIn1224
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