My interest in foreign films started when my German teacher showed the class Run Lola Run. From then on I was hooked and developed an interest in foreign films which further developed when I moved schools for sixth form. At this school I went to European Cinema club which showed foreign films once a week. Some of those films I then brought and have watched over and over again. If you want something a bit different to view try some of my recommendations below.
Language – French
Date of release – 2001
Amelie is a very popular french film starring the awesome Audrey Tautou and if you are going to watch any film this is the one to watch. Amelie is an only child brought up by eccentric parents. Part of her upbringing means she doesn’t have any friends and doesn’t really play with other children. Therefore she uses her imagination to fill up her time. When her mother dies in a freak accident her dad withdraws further from society. When she is 18 she leaves home and works in the Cafe des 2 Moulins taking pleasure in life’s little things such as touching fruit at the local market.
One day after the death of Princess Diana, Amelie decides to set out on a mission to make people happy. On this mission, she finds an album of full of unwanted photos taken by strangers in a photo booth (yes it is a little werid but bear with!). Amelie goes around Paris trying to find the owner who she happens to also fancy and the owner fancy her. It is an lovely independent film although a little strange- you have to go along with it!
Run Lola Run
Language – German
Date of release – 1999
When Lola’s boyfriend, Manni burgles a store and leaves 100,000 deutsche marks on the train, she has just 20 minutes to find 100,000 deutsche marks or he loses his life. Lola starts running across the town to try and find the money. This fast paced film gets interesting when it is split into three and each run start’s the same but there a different scenario develops and ends differently.
Language – Portuguese
Release date – 1998
This film follows Dora, a retired schoolteacher working at Rio de Janerio’s Central Station writing letters for illiterate customers. One day, whilst working, a woman visits Dora and pay’s her to write letters with her son Josué. The letters are to Josué’s father who she hopes to see soon. The woman is killed outside the station by the bus and Josué is made homeless. Dora takes him back to the flat as she doesn’t want to leave him on the streets. She then tries to traffic him but steals him back. Dora then embarks on a journey with Josué to find his father’s house to reunite him. A film I have watched many times and the scenes of Brazil through the journey are really breathtaking.
Blue is the Warmest Colour
Language – French
Date of release – 2013
This coming of age film follows Adelé who is still at school studying with the aim of becoming a teacher. Adelé is unsure about her sexuality identity and it doesn’t help that her classmates are always gossiping about boys. She goes out with a boy but isn’t interested. One day in town she passes by a girl with blue hair (called Emma) and is instantly attracted. She confides in her openly gay friend Valentin and he takes her to a gay bar. Here she bumps into the blue haired girl and strikes up a friendship. The rest of the film follows Adelé and Emma through their relationship.
Language – French
Date of release – 2014
Another coming of age film this story focuses on Marieme a girl living on a poor estate outside Paris. Her mother works all hours as a cleaner therefore her abusive older brother is left in charge of her and her two younger sisters. Marieme struggles at school and is recommended for vocational study which she does not want. Outside of school she meets a gang of three girls who befriend her. Marieme gets caught up in this gang world and the film portrays it through her eyes.
Language – Lebanese Arabic
Release date – 2007
Revolving around five women – Layale, Nisrine, Rima, Rose and Jamale. The woman know each other because they either work or visit the salon. This film focuses on the lives of each against the backdrop of warfare.
What films do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below!