There are thousands of films released every year from all around world, but we usually only watch the English-speaking ones. Who are we to say that the best movie is within that small percentage of English-speaking ones? It is time that we turned our head to international films and enjoyed difference cultures, languages and delve into alternative experiences. Here are four of the best foreign films students should watch.
Parasite, 2019 (Korean)
Parasite took 2019 by storm. It cleaned up during awards season, winning Best Screenplay, Best Foreign Film, Best Director (Bong Joon-ho) and historically winning Best Picture, being the first non-English-speaking film to take the award. If ever there was a foreign film students should watch, it’s this one.
The movie also won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language. During his acceptance speech, Bong Joon-ho famously said:
“Once you’re over the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
Parasite follows a poverty-stricken film, the Kims, as they infiltrate an extremely wealthy household by becoming their housekeepers. As time goes on, it turns out that the wealthy family have been hiding a big secret, in their own basement.
The Platform, 2019 (Spanish)
The Platform is a sci-fi, social horror film from the mind of director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia. It hit Netflix in March 2020 and became a fan favourite.
This eerie movie follows Goreng, a prisoner in a near-future dystopia. The prison system is now a vertical structure whereby there are around 250 different levels.
Food is given once a day, but the catch, everyone is given the same platter to eat from. The people on floor one get untouched, hot food and can eat as much as they wish. Then, the further down you go, prisoners must fight for their meal, if there is anything left that is.
This film always keeps you on edge, with you asking questions of people’s true intentions.
Another Round, 2020 (Danish)
Another Round is a dark comedy that won Best International Film at the Academy Awards in 2021. It also won Best Film Not In The English Language and European Film Director at the BAFTA Awards.
This film follows four middle-aged men who are looking to make their lives more exciting. The four teachers decide to dose themselves with a small percentage of alcohol every day, hoping that it would make day-to-day activities just that more interesting.
The upbeat parts of this film welcome everything that we love about a typical comedy. It is only as the stakes get bigger that we slip into the dark side of the story, which is equally enticing.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, 2019 (French)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a period romantic drama that won Best Screenplay at Cannes Film Festival as well getting down to the final shortlist to be France’s submission for the 2021 Academy Awards.
We follow the progress of a relationship between Marianne, played by Noémie Merlant and Héloïse, portrayed by Adèle Haenel. Marianne is secretly commissioned to paint a portrait of Héloïse who is refusing to go through with her arranged marriage. The passion, longing and chemistry between the two is rich, making for an engaging watch.
In 2022, the film was voted as the 30th greatest movie of all time by critics at Sight & Sound.
- More Movies: Five Films To Get You In The Mood For Spring