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Foreign Films Worthy of Viewing

By Edited Apr 26, 2014 2 5

These are some foreign films, well worth watching in my personal opinion. Surely there are tons more, but of course, I've yet to see them all. So many titles, so little time. Sorry guys, I am a woman who loves a great tear-jerker, so that is why there is more feminine and drama style movies in this article.

In no particular order..

Release Date 2006
Hula Girls - Directed by: Sang-il Lee

In the Japanese city of Iwaki, the coal mine is the bread and butter of the citizens. The mine is being closed and a Hawaiian resort is being opened in it's place. Against their families' wishes, girls sign up to learn to hula dance as a way to support their families.

This cute movie, based on actual events, is a classic tale of strength and conquering the impossible. Great for anyone with heart, who loves cheering for the underdog, and who loves dancing, especially the hula. This foreign film is well suited for a family feature.

  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English

Release Date 1987
Au Revoir Les Enfants - Directed by: Louis Malle

This is one of those movies that you end up loving and hating all at the same time. Based on actual events from the directors life. It's drama about a friendship that units between two boys at a French Catholic school during World War II. One however, is a Jewish boy seeking refuge from the Nazis. Great for the history buffs. This movie does a wonderful job of showing how life transformed before their very eyes. Where the people are forced to make enemies out of friends, and choices they will regret for a lifetime.

  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English

Release Date 2001
Amelie - Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

A favorite of many people around the globe! Amelie is purely magical and delightful with a quirky twist. This movie isn't for everyone, but the best way to describe something similar would be the t.v. show, Pushing Up Daisies. Not because of the content, but the similar quirkiness. Amelie is a French girl who finds a hidden treasure, a box that belong to a boy before she lived there. She has made it her mission to find the rightful owner of the box of goodies, and return them. Amelie is always finding joy in the simple, overlooked things in life. Great movie to lift spirits and make you smile. As an added bonus, the soundtrack is awesome as well. Winner of 11 movie awards in 2002.

  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English

Release Date 1991
Raise the Red Lantern - Directed by: Zhang Yimou

One of the best films ever made hands down. This story of a 19 year old Chinese girl who when her fathers dies, she must quit college. She then marries and becomes the fourth wife of a much older man. This drama is remarkable, yet disturbing. A story full of betrayal, deceit, jealousy, desperation, devious women and of course, wicked surprises. Beautiful scenery and costumes makes the movie real work of art. Like many great movies, this one was adapted from a book. The novel " Wives and Concubines" was written by Su Tong.

  • Language: Chinese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, and French

Release Date 1990
Europa Europa - Directed by: Agnieszka Holland

This tale is based on the autobiography of Solomon Perel. A story that Perel kept a secret for many, many years. Forced to flee the Nazis, a Jewish German boy ends up in a Polish orphanage. Through one escape after another, he finds himself in the actual Nazi army. This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. One minute he is a Russian communist, the next a Nazi and then a Jewish guy. It truly shows what one will do to survive.

  • Language: German or French
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Release Date 2004
Maria Full of Grace - Directed by: Joshua Marston

This movie is about a 17 year old pregnant girl from Columbia, who becomes a drug mule for a chance of a better life for her baby. This movie leaves you thinking, what would you do for a chance of a better life? Didn't like this one as much as the others mentioned but still well worth watching.

  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Release Date 1999
Children of Heaven - Directed by: Majid Majidi

This remarkable movie is about a little boy who he loses his sister's shoes. He then shares his shoes with her, so she can attend school. In order to get another pair of shoes, the boy enters a running competition where one of the prizes is... a new pair of trainers.

Anyone who watches this movie should feel how thankful they should be just to have simple things, like shoes. An important lesson for children living in a modern world.

  • Language: Persian
  • Subtitles: English

Release Date  2001
The Tunnel - Directed by: Roland Suso Richter

This movie really surprised me. I was expecting to be disappointed, instead I was amazed. The movie is set in the 60's when Germany was divided. A swimmer from East Germany escapes to West Berlin. He rents an empty warehouse beside the Berlin Wall. Forms a secret team to dig a tunnel, in the hopes of rescuing his sister and her family. Great historical movie, one that really captures what happened when people tried to escape and cross the wall.

  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English

Release Date 2002
The Magdalene Sisters - Directed by: Peter Mullan

This movie totally shocked me, especially after the fact that this story was true! I found myself mad for quite sometime after watching this very disturbing movie. The movie is about catholic girls who got themselves into trouble in the 1960's in Ireland. By in trouble, meaning they got themselves pregnant before marriage. Then they would be forced by the family or catholic church, into The Magdalene Laundries to work of their sins. In my viewpoint this movie was a corrupt attempt for the church to make a dollar and abuse human beings. Some of the scenes and content of this film was horrifying. Very well acted and portrayed movie. The Magdalene Sisters is sure to leave you outraged.

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish

Well, there you have it, a short list of many foreign films I have actually had a chance to view. Other's are entitled to their own opinions but I feel that these movies will not disappoint the average movie viewer. Having to read subtitles is the only complaint I've heard about most of these movies

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Comments

Nov 18, 2011 2:15am
vicdillinger
"The Tunne"l was excellent, and it is a great piece reminding of those bad times during the Cold War when many tried, and failed, to go over the wall to the West.

Also "Das Boot" and "The Tin Drum" killed!! (not tellin' ya to rewrite your list -- it's a pretty good one as is). I'll give ya a thumb...
Dec 17, 2011 5:09pm
cosmopinkice
Thanks! I appreciate anyone listing other great foreign films. I'll have to check out your recommendations. I don't get too many from the locals here in the sticks =).
Dec 17, 2011 7:18pm
vicdillinger
One last one, and I'll leave you alone -- the disquieting Aussie movie "Picnic at Hanging Rock".
Dec 17, 2011 3:38am
redyelruc
I loved Amelie and also enjoyed The Tunnel. I haven't seen most of the others. But I can recommend a couple of movies for you(a woman who loves a great tear-jerker/drama).
The first is Central do Brasil(1998) and the other is Das Leben der Anderen(2006).
Anyway, I liked your list and I now have some new movies to check out. Thanks.
Dec 17, 2011 5:17pm
cosmopinkice
Those movies sound great! I'll have to watch them. I've seen some other good ones since making this list. I'll have to update it at some point. "Innocent Voices" and "Red Cliff" are a couple, of course I was always a huge Dynasty Warriors fan so I might be bias on the "Red Cliff".
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