Other Side of Heaven, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: +1

When Elder John Groberg (Christopher Gorham) gets through college, his church (the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints - LDS) sends him on a three-year missionary trip to the Pacific island of Tonga. Ignorant of their language, customs, and pretty much any other useful information about these isolated people, Groberg is forced to rely on his faith to get through his journey. At first, since a Christian church is already on the island, the people ignore him and his message. However, circumstances involving miraculous healings open the ears of some of the islanders. Starting with a few devoted listeners, Groberg soon gains notice on the island and begins to win some over to his beliefs. Based on a true story, the film focuses on an overtly religious theme, but decent acting and writing prevent the film from seeming dogmatic. The film suffers some from episodic and seemingly disconnected scenes, but the beautiful island setting will entertain most audiences who discover this limited release.

While the film, produced by an LDS (Mormon) member about an LDS elder, preaches and teaches people all the way through the movie, Groberg never once states anything outside the bounds of orthodox Christianity. Grobergs message speaks about salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although the Mormon Church agrees in many ways with mainstream Protestantism, a number of their beliefs fall outside the bounds of orthodox Christianity. However, the omission of doctrinal beliefs exclusive to the Mormons makes the film more appealing to a wider audience, and avoids the appearance of proselytizing for a particular sect. Without the stigma of sectarian tenets, Elder Groberg provides an example of a man persevering in his faith, which all Christians are called to do. He demonstrates a dependence on God, on his friend and companion in the mission work, and on the people of the small island community. Some disturbing images appear when a mans feet are badly cut, but the scene avoids exploitive gore. Although Preview follows more traditional Christian orthodoxy, the positive messages in THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN can be recommended.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Excel Entertainment Group, Salt Lake City, UT

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Few times Moderate (mans feet injured and bloodied, man cuts leg, man punched)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (woman proposes sex to man by taking off clothes no nudity shown)

Drugs: None

Other: Mormon missionary preaches on behalf of the Mormon Church; although everything said agrees with orthodox Christian doctrine, all of the Mormon doctrines do not

Running Time: 113 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and older

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.