El otro lado creates scene of dissensus by means of many of the aesthetic and narrative aspects of accented cinema: narration by intertitles, transitional time and space, self-reflexivity, liminality, and autobiography. It offers a variety of voices, Spanish and newcomers, intermingling faces, speeches, and a great amount of music. The film clearly blames the local and national government and the local authorities for the insecurities and difficulties of the inhabitants of the quarter. It offers this critique through the characters' direct speech, which can be either through the individual interviews or through even more politically critical use of musical performances. In this film, music is the narrator, the commentator, and the connective device. The music has the powerful effect of creating a fluidity of identities, characters, voices, and messages, placing them and us in a context of internal and external movement.