The proud Mexican tradition of corrido music — captured in the performances of Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte and the late Chalino Sánchez — provides both heartbeat and backbone to this rich examination of songs, drugs and dreams along the U.S./Mexico border. Al Otro Lado follows Magdiel, an aspiring corrido composer from the drug capital of Mexico, as he faces two difficult choices to better his life: to traffic drugs or to cross the border illegally into the United States.
Magdiel finds someone who will help him illegally cross the border from Mexico to the U.S. He prepares for a dangerous journey, and leaves home, perhaps for the last time, with hope for a better future.
From death on the streets of Crown Heights to director Steven Spielberg's controversial visit to a predominantly black high school in East Oakland, the film resists simple analysis and treads provocatively on the fault lines of racial coalition and conflict.