The Other Side Of Heaven Parent Guide
Families searching for examples of unwavering faith and determination will enjoy this cinematic achievement.
Parent Movie Review
“There is a connection between heaven and earth. Finding that connection makes everything meaningful, including death. Missing it makes everything meaningless, including life.”—John Groberg
John Groberg (Christopher Gorham), a precocious boy from Idaho, doesn’t let obstacles stand in his way. Blowing trumpet for a dance band at university in the early 1950s, the nineteen-year-old jumps off the stage to claim the girl of his dreams—even though she’s sock-hopping with someone else. When asked by his church to serve a mission on the other side of the world, he tells Jean (Anne Hathaway) to wait for him—for a mere three years.
An arduous journey finally brings the highly anticipated “great white preacher” to a remote Tongan island. Groberg’s tenacity and commitment are immediately put to the test as he adjusts to the primitive conditions, tries to master the language, and attempts to live up to the congregation’s expectations. But his greatest challenge is convincing the people not to sacrifice their souls. As mere existence demands everything, many residents believe liquor or prostituting their virtue are the only ways to a brighter future. With the assistance of Feki (Joe Folau)—a faithful local who helps him understand the culture—the young missionary embarks on the daunting task that can only be accomplished by finding a meaningful connection between heaven and earth.
Based on a true story, this inspirational tale was shot on location in the Cook Islands. Perhaps its only flaw is Gorham’s somewhat flat character’s unfailing ability to overcome endless obstacles and temptations, including redirecting the desires of a young woman who drops her clothes (no nudity shown) and begs for his passion. Parents may also be concerned that some depictions of intense storms, and suffering due to poverty, may be unsettling for young viewers.
Despite a tight budget, first time writer-director Mitch Davis and powerhouse producer Gerald Molen (Schindler’s List, January 24, 2017
The Other Side Of Heaven
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Other Side Of Heaven rated PG? The Other Side Of Heaven is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elements and brief disturbing images.
Overall: A- When a nineteen-year-old from Idaho decides to serve three years as a missionary for his church, he never dreams he will end up in Tonga. The young man’s faith is put to the test as he faces culture shock, language barriers, and missing his true love back home. Based on a true story, The Other Side Of Heaven portrays the miraculous growth that occurs in the lives of both the giver and the receiver when they put their trust in God.
Violence: B Native dancers brandish spears. Badly bleeding feet are shown several times. Injury from falling out of a tree is mentioned. A mob of men threatens others. Man injures foot with knife. Seizure from lockjaw is shown. Portrayal of storms that result in: property damage, people in peril, capsized boat, and passengers stranded at sea. Depiction of people suffering from starvation. Electric light bulbs explode.
Sexual Content: B An unmarried couple kiss. South Pacific native dress is worn by some characters. Men stand guard when man uses outhouse. Curious children surround a man taking a bath. Sexual relations outside of marriage are briefly referred to on several occasions, including a character being pressured to engage in such a relationship. Young girl drops her skirt in a seduction attempt (no nudity shown). Prostitution implied. Adultery mentioned as a common custom of upper class.
Language: A- At least: 1 mild profanity. Terms of Deity are used in a religious context.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B Alcoholism is mentioned. Man drinks alcohol from a bottle. Brief scene shows drunken mob. One character is shown smoking. Using alcohol as a bribe is referred to on two occasions.
Miscellaneous Concerns: Wailing mourners are portrayed, and one kisses the deceased. A few references are made about bodily functions, including the custom of belching. Character vomits. Some negative portrayals of religious leaders are shown; issues are later resolved. Hungry characters eat mosquitoes.
Page last updated January 24, 2017
The Other Side Of Heaven Parents' Guide
Although John Groberg looks a little nervous about leaving the security of his familiar life, what proves to be the most difficult thing he has to do?
Looking at the Tongans, Groberg observes, “These people have nothing, and yet they have everything.” What does he mean?
The most recent home video release of The Other Side Of Heaven movie is April 1, 2003. Here are some details…
releases to home video (DVD) on April 1, 2003.