6.4/10
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83 user 27 critic

The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

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

Director:

Mitch Davis

Writers:

Mitch Davis, John H. Groberg (book)
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Gorham ... John Groberg
Anne Hathaway ... Jean Sabin
Joe Folau ... Feki (as Joseph Folau)
Nathaniel Lees ... Kelepi
Miriama Smith ... Lavania
Alvin Fitisemanu Alvin Fitisemanu ... Tomasi
Peter Sa'ena-Brown ... Kuli
Whetu Fala ... Asi
Apii McKinley Apii McKinley ... Noli
Paki Cherrington Paki Cherrington ... Minister (as Te Paki Cherrington)
Jeremy Birchall Jeremy Birchall ... Edward
Ross Duncan Ross Duncan ... John's Father
Maggie Harper Maggie Harper ... John's Mother
Rick Leckinger ... Photographer
Brian Richards 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 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint 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

Taglines:

There is a connection between heaven and earth. Finding that connection makes everything meaningful, including death. Missing it makes everything meaningless, including life. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Tonga

Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eye of the Storm See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,765, 16 December 2001

Gross USA:

$4,720,371

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,760,014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The hut is an authentic replica of the one that John and Feki actually lived in. It was re-created from photographs. 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

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Lone Ranger
Courtesy of Golden Books Family Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Review by a Polynesian viewer
16 February 2005 | by jmellor00See all my reviews

I loved this movie!!! My father is Tongan and my mother is Samoan (the first island Elder Groberg landed at the beginning of his journey). Even though I was born and raised here in the US, I have been exposed to my Polynesian roots and love and embrace both cultures of who I am (Polynesian side and American side).

I have to say that my family and I LOVED this movie. It is refreshing to watch a beautiful movie without all the sex, violence and vulgar material that permeates our society today. This movie is about True Love on so many levels - the love between Elder Groberg and his future bride Jean, the love between the Tongan people and Elder Groberg and the love between Our Lord and his children. No, I'm not Mormon, I'm actually an Assembly of God Christian, however that does not overshadow my appreciation for this movie.

The depiction of the people of Tonga is accurate. They are a lighthearted and loving group of people who love to laugh and find joy in the simple things of life. They are all about respect and honoring one's family. The scene of the first funeral brought back memories for me as it illustrated exactly how these kind people handle the departing of a loved one. When my dear Grandmother Siu passed away in 1994, my family and I traveled back to Vava'u (an island within the Kingdom of Tonga) to lay her to rest. The unmasked grief and crying as depicted in the movie was exactly how my grandmother's funeral was. The crying and grieving took place for 1 full day (24 hours - day and night) while different groups of people from all the villages on the island, came to pay their last respects.

Hats off to Disney for going out on a limb to bring the story of one young man's journey of faith and trials and tribulations of his mission to the big screen! Well done!


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