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Buried in the Present Tense

Buried in the Present Tense

“The great problem with the now is that it isn’t allowed to exist,” pontificated the aged Bedouin. “In the South we’re too preoccupied with the past, in the North you’re too focused on the future. There’s no clarity when the truth is buried in the present but we never look there.” The speaker was a a wizened old Moroccan woman somewhere between the ages of 60 and 1000. She was delighted to have a film crew sit with her in her tent, listen to her stories and share a meal. But there was a price for this hospitality. As our crew was leaving she threw down a challenge, “Use this message to make a television show.” she said, “Make a difference.”

Fast forward a few years to a crisp Spring morning in Toronto and one of our favorite Authors and Commentators Eric Margolis was holding court in a cafe. Over espressos he was complaining that most television travel programs didn’t dig deep enough into cultures to provide a real perspective on a destination, they tended to take too much of a surface view. “The real shame” he explained, “is that the insight is always there, a society’s true essence is always hiding in plain sight, but no one seems to care about honoring the value of a culture as it stands TODAY.”

Eric had unknowingly summed up the thoughts of the Bedouin Woman and in doing so proposed an idea which would satisfy to her challenge. Eric said, “Let’s create a TV show that will make a difference, a program dedicated to cross cultural learning.” And in that instant The Other Side was born. We know we will have at least one fan in the deserts of Morocco.

The Other Side will launch this Fall on CNBC World with a mission to illuminate the destinations that most are fascinated by, few understand, but everyone wonders about. And we’ll profile the people and places that we all should know better. As Eric says, “I want to open doors because there are always two sides to every story, this is the other side, the one that usually isn’t told but is always the most important.”

As we begin production on our first season we want to hear from you. Tell us the places that you are most fascinated by and we’ll try to tell those stories.

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