I was introduced to the world of foreign films by my sister Michelle ( who is also responsible for introducing me to British television). The film was called Babete’s Feast and though reading subtitles took getting used to, I was soon hooked.
Watching these films is how I learned about other cultures. About the world outside of my American culture. I also enjoyed that these films are different in pace and storytelling. For instance, I learned that there is not always a happy ending. Or even that an ending can even be ambiguous. That a comedy can be just as heartfelt and emotional as any drama, at times more so.
It’s a great way to learn about a culture. To see a different perspective, past the headlines. To understand the everyday human story that is hard to get from news stories. Immersing yourself in the language. Learning how subtle human body language can be and just as profound . It’s for this reason I prefer subtitles, rather than voiceovers.
Watching these types of films has expanded my view of the world. And also how to tell stories. Which has helped me with my own writing.
What follows is a short list of some of my favorite foreign films. It is by no means an exhaustive, comprehensive list. Feel free to add your favorite films as well!
The Lives of Others
Shall We Dance?
Women On The Edge of A Nervous Breakdown
City Of God
The Grocer’s Son
Talk To Her
All About My Mother
Raise The Red Lantern
The Motorcycle Diaries