Throughout my movie watching, some of the best films I have seen are in foreign languages. If you don’t already, you should definitely watch foreign films as it’s a great way to expand your worldview. They are worth your time – trust me!
If you consider yourself a true cinema fan, then there is no excuse not to watch foreign movies. I don’t care if you’ve seen every classic under the sun, you can’t call yourself a true movie buff if you only ever watch English-language films.
Here’s a selection of some of my personal favourites that I recommend…
The Raid (2011)
Director: Gareth Evans
This violent, intense and brutal survival thriller puts Hollywood actions films to shame. For me, The Raid is one of the best action movies ever made. Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans, is a one man army as director, writer and editor, delivering this crazy thrill-ride where a S.W.A.T. team become trapped in an apartment building overrun by ruthless criminals.
Let the Right One In (2008)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Gothic horror and coming-of-age have meshed into one in this dark Swedish tale. Although this film reveals some secrets early on, the story is best left as a surprise. The plot involves twelve-year-old Oskar, who meets a strange girl one snowy night. This sparks off a twisted chain of events, with love and revenge at the centre.
Paradise Now (2005)
Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Paradise Now is a very powerful and well-made film, but not something I would want to watch again. This film takes a controversial topic and studies it from an objective viewpoint, telling an authentic story about two suicide bombers. It’s very thought-provoking and despite the unpleasant nature of the film, it has won many awards. It also picked up an Oscar nomination in 2006.
Talk to Her (2002)
Director: Pedro Almodovar
I’d argue that if something is weird or quirky, it’s always worth checking out. In Talk to her, there will be times when you feel uncomfortable, angry, frustrated and sad. This film puts you through a whirlwind of emotions. It focuses on two men who form a strange friendship while they take care of two women, who are both in comas.
City of God (2002)
Director: Fernando Meirelles
City of God provides an unflinching look at life in the Favela of Rio De Janerio, Brazil. The film focuses on two boys growing up in a violent neighbourhood and they take very different paths through their life. This is an extremely raw and gripping film, showing the classic struggle of right and wrong in unique ways.
Battle Royale (2000)
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
This is the film The Hunger Games trilogy essentially ripped off! Battle Royale is less flashy, but way more violent and gritty than the very similar set of American films, originally penned as novels. Battle Royale takes place in a dystopian Japan where a class of high-school students are captured by the government and forced to fight to the death on a remote island. This film was a big hit in Japan, so I urge you to see it.
My recommendations won’t appeal to everyone. But what’s clear is that world cinema is a very big oyster, with a huge range of interesting and entertaining films to watch.