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Foreign Film Recommendations

I love immersing myself in the culture of another country and one way to get to know them is through their films. I know that some of you seem to be put off by reading subtitles and while this can be annoying, there is so much to learn and gain. It’s not just for pretentious people you know 😛 . Watching foreign movies ignited my desire to travel the world. Seeing and hearing them will fascinate you and take you to places that you have never been.

I have watched hundreds of foreign films, so I made this list and rated them based on personal taste to highlight those that made an impression on me, whether for their message or some other reason. I am not trying to be a film critic here and this is not meant to be a definitive list, just a diverse collection of interesting films to get you started. I think everyone should make some attempt to watch foreign films in life. Don’t get me wrong, I still watch mainstream flicks. Who doesn’t love Katniss and Spidey?! 🙂

Do you have any favorite foreign films? Have you seen any of the ones on my list? I’m always looking for a good recommendation, so if you have one in mind, feel free to comment and I’ll try to find them.

P.S. I’ll try to update the list whenever I see a good one.


Cinema Paradiso (Italy, 1988) 5/5cinema paradiso

The Lives of Others (Germany, 2006) 5/5the lives of others

La Haine (France, 1995) 5/5la haine
Malena (Italy, 1992) 5/5


City of God (Brazil, 2002) 5/5city of god2

Life is Beautiful (Italy, 1997) 5/5life is beauty

A Separation (Iran, 2011) 5/5a separation

Departures (Japan, 2008) 5/5departures1

Amelie (France, 2001) 5/5amelie

Children of Heaven (Iran, 1997) 5/5children of heaven

OldBoy (South Korea, 2003) 5/5oldboy2

Tokyo Story (Japan, 1953) 5/5tokyo story1Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico, 2006) 5/5pans labyrinthNobody Knows (Japan, 2005) 5/5nobody knows

Infernal Affairs (Hong Kong, 2002) 5/5Infernal Affairs
Homerun (Singapore, 2003) 5/5


Like Stars on Earth (India, 2007) 5/5like stars on earthThe Secret in their Eyes (Argentina, 2009) 5/5secrets in their eyesThe Wages of Fear (France, 1953) 5/5wages of fear1In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong, 2000) 5/5In the Mood for loveSeven Samurai (Japan, 1954 ) 5/5seven samuraiCentral Station (Brazil, 1998) 5/5central-do-brasilMetro Manila (United Kingdom, 2013) 5/5metro manilaThe Color of Paradise (Iran, 2000) 5/5color of paradiseAmores Perros (Mexico, 2000) 5/5amores perrosSpirited Away (Japan, 2001) 5/5spirited away

A Prophet (France, 2009) 5/5a prophet

To Live (Hong Kong, 1994) 5/5

to liveBus 174 (Brazil, 2002) 5/5bus174

A Coffee in Berlin (Germany, 2012) 5/5a coffee in berlin2

Talk to Her (Spain, 2002) 4/5

talk to her

The Counterfeiters (Austria, 2007) 4/5the counterfeiters

La Dolce Vita (Italy, 1960) 4/5

la dolce vita

The Past (Iran, 2013) 4/5the past

Ran (Japan, 1985) 4/5


Leviathan (Russia, 2014) 4/5leviathan

Norte, the End of History (Philippines, 2013) 4/5Norte

The Motorcycle Diaries (Argentina, 2004) 4/5the motorcycle diaries

Eat Drink Man Woman (Taiwan, 1994) 4/5eat drink man woman

Three Colours: Red (France, 1994) 4/5

Three Colours Red Films MoviesThree Colours: Blue (France,1993) 4/5blueKolya (Czech Republic, 1996) 4/5kolyaBlue is the Warmest Color (France, 2013) 4/5blue is the warmestBabette’s Feast (Denmark, 1987) 4/5babettesfeast22All About my Mother (Spain, 1999) 4/5all about my mother1Tell No One (France, 2006) 4/5tell-no-one-ne-le-dis-a-personne-4Ida (Poland, 2013) 4/5Ida - 5.jpg

2046 (Hong Kong, 2004) 4/52046

Like Water for Chocolate (Mexico, 1992) 4/5

like water

The Orphanage (Spain and Mexico) 4/5the orphanage

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (Brazil, 2010) 4/5tropaTropa De Elite (Brazil, 2007) 4/5tropa de elite 2The Seventh Seal (Sweden, 1957) 4/5seventh sealThe Spanish Apartment (France, 2002) 4/5spanish apartmentWoman in the Dunes (Japan, 1964) 4/5woman in dunesMaria Full of Grace (Columbia, 2004) 4/5Maria Full of GraceThe Bicycle Thief (Italy, 1948) 4/5bicycle-thieves-imageRun Lola Run (Germany, 1998) 4/5run lolaHorses of God (Morocco, 2013) 4/5horses of godY Tu Mama También (Mexico,2001) 4/5y-tu-mama-tambien-2Grave of the Fireflies (Japan, 1988) 4/5grave-of-the-fireflies-c2a9-studio-ghibliThe Chorus (France, 2004) 4/5the chorusThe Artist (France, 2011) 4/5the artistBroken Embraces (Spain, 2009) 4/5broken embracesShow Me Love (Sweden, 1998) 4/5show me loveThe Skin I Live In (Spain, 2011) 4/5the skin i live inDiabolique (France, 1955) 4/5diaboliqueSpring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring (South Korea, 2003) 4/5spring summerhe Great Beauty (Italy. 2013) 4/5the great beautyLet the Right One In (Sweden, 2008) 4/5let the right one inThe Dreamers (France, 2003) 4/5the dreamersCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Taiwan, 2000) 4/5crouching tigerDownfall (Germany, 2004) 4/5downfallAntonia’s Line (The Netherlands, 1995) 4/5antoniaFanny and Alexander (Sweden, 1982) 4/5fanny-och-alexanderKm.0 (Spain, 2000) 4/5km0picThe 400 Blows (France 1959) 4/5the 400 blowsRaise the Red Lantern (China, 1991) 4/5raise the red lanternMy Life as a Dog (Sweden, 1985) 4/5my-life-as-a-dog

In a Better World (Denmark, 2010) 4/5in a better worldThe Hunt (Denmark, 2013) 4/5the huntAmour (France, 2012) 4/5amourOn the Job (Philippines, 2013) 4/5on_the_job_01Persona (Sweden, 1966) 4/5personaIncendies (Canada, 2010) 4/5incendiesJourney of Hope (Iran,1990) 4/5MSDJOOF EC004Goodbye, Lenin (Germany, 2003) 4/5good-bye-leninBiutiful (Mexico, 2010) 4/5biutifulHeadhunters (Norway, 2011) 4/5headhuntersParadise Now (Palestine, 2005) 4/5paradise-nowBlancanieves (Spain, 2012) 4/5blancanieves_031Bashu, the Little Stranger (Iran, 1986) 4/5bashuMonsieur Lazhar (Canada, 2012) 4/5monsieur-lazhar-5Mother (South Korea, 2009) 4/5mother-skWild Strawberries (Sweden, 1957) 4/5Wild-Strawberries-Ingmar-Bergman-movieAno Bisiesto (Mexico, 2010) 4/5ano bisiestoLa Nana (Chile, 2009) 4/5la nanaThe Song of Sparrows (Iran, 2008) 4/5Song of SparrowsDogtooth (Greece,2009) 4/5dogtooth_16Nine Queens (Argentina, 2000) 4/5nine queensThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Sweden,2009) 4/5kinopoisk.ruThe Girl who Played with Fire (Sweden, 2009) 4/5the girl fireThe Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (Sweden,2009) 4/5the girl hornest

Small Voices (Philippines, 2002) 4/5small-voices

Joyeux Noel (France, 2005) 4/5joyeux noel La Strada (Italy, 1954) 4/5la-strada-1

Volver (Spain, 2006) 4/5volver

Throne of Blood (Japan, 1957) 4/5throne of blood

Chungking Express (Hong Kong, 1994) 4/5

chungking express

El Norte (UK and USA, 1983) 4/5

el norte

Au Revoir, Les Enfants (France, 1987) 4/5Au_revoir_les_enfants_13

Wings of Desire (Germany, 1987) 3/5

wings of desireLa lengua de las Mariposas (Spain, 1999) 3/5MSDBUTO EC003War Witch (Canada, 2012) 3/5war witch

Metropolis (Germany, 1927) 3/5metropolis

The Love of Siam (Thailand, 2007) 3/5love of siam Kon-Tiki (Norway, 2012) 3/5


The Virgin Spring (Sweden, 1960) 3/5the virgin spring

Three Colours: White (France, 1994) 3/5

whiteMiracle in Cell No. 7 (South Korea, 2013) 3/5miracle-7-3Russian Dolls (France, 2005) 3/5russian dollsMongol (Russia , 2007) 3/5mongulNowhere in Africa (Germany, 2001) 3/5Nowhere-in-Africa

The Vanishing (The Netherlands, 1988) 3/5The Vanishing

Like Father, Like Son (Japan, 2013) 3/5like father like sonHimalaya (France, 1999) 3/5Himalaya (1)Ichi the Killer (Japan, 2001) 3/5ichi the killerMonsoon Wedding (India, 2001) 3/5Monsoon-WeddingBefore the Rain (Macedonia, 1994) 3/5before_the_rainIn the Navel of the Sea (Philippines, 1998) 3/5in the navel of the seaMurmur of the Heart (France, 1971) 3/5murmur of the heartThe Scent of Green Papaya (Thailand,1993) 3/5the scent of green papayaChinese Puzzle (France, 2013) 3/5chinese_puzzleSoul Kitchen (Germany, 2009) 3/5soul kitchen

M (Germany, 1931) 3/5m

The Flowers of War ( China, 2011) 3/5part A045.JPGFarinelli (Belgium, 1995) 3/5Farinelli movie 1Omar (Palestine, 2013) 3/5omarThe Sea Inside (Spain, 2004) 3/5the sea insideThe Intouchables (France, 2011) 3/5the intouchables3 Idiots (India, 2009) 3/53 idiots

In July (Germany, 2001) 3/5In July

Osama (Afghanistan,2003) 3/5osamaMancora (Peru, 2008) 3/5MCDMANC EC010Innocent Voices (El Salvador, 2004) 3/5innocent_voices11After the Wedding (Denmark, 2006) 3/5after the weddingGraceland (Philippines, 2012) 3/5GRACELANDThe Closet (France, 2001) 3/5the closetAdam’s Apple (Denmark, 2005) 3/5adams appleLa Jaula de Oro (Mexico, 2013) 3/5La-jaula-de-oro-Foto-película-3451-Pickpocket (France, 1959) 3/5pickpocketI Saw the Devil (South Korea, 2011) 3/5i saw the devilDas Boot (Germany, 1981) 3/5das bootLust, Caution (China, 2007) 3/5lust cautionTie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Spain, 1990) 3/5tie_me_up_tie_me_down_Ikiru (Japan, 1952) 3/5IKIRU_1Pieta (South Korea,2012) 3/5pietaThe Piano Teacher (France, 2001) 3/5the piano teacherHero (China, 2002) 3/5heroMy Sassy Girl (South Korea, 2001) 3/5my sassy girlPersepolis (France, 2007) 3/5persepolisKung Fu Hustle (Hong Kong, 2004) 3/5kungfuhustleIrreversible (France, 2002) 3/5irreversible 2Sex and Lucia (Spain, 2001) 3/5sex and luciaDelicatessen (France, 1991) 3/5delicatessenThe Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (Philippines, 2005) 3/5maximo oliverosBeat the Drum (South Africa, 2003) 3/5BeattheDrumThe Grocer’s Son (France, 2007) 3/5the grocers sonLittle Moth (China, 2007) 3/5little mothBaran (Iran, 2001) 3/5baranHappy Together (Hong Kong, 1997) 3/5happy togetherThe Return (Russia, 2003) 3/5the-return-2Magnifico (Philippines, 2003) 3/5magnificoFesten (Denmark, 1998) 3/5festenBetty Blue (France, 1986) 3/5betty blue1

Through a Glass Darkly ( Sweden, 1961) 3/5through-a-glass-darklyApres Lui (France, 2007) 3/5apres-luiIp Man (Hong Kong, 2008) 3/5Ip-ManThe Sicilian Girl (Italy, 2009) 3/5siciliangirlMuro-ami (Philippines, 1999) 3/5muroamiRust and Bone (France, 2012) 3/5rust and boneValentin (Argentina, 2002) 3/5valentin5A City of Sadness (Taiwan, 1989) 3/5cityofsadness3The Man from Nowhere (South Korea, 2010) 3/5The-Man-From-NowhereThe Holy Mountain (Mexico, 1973) 3/5the holy mountainBarbara (Germany, 2012) 3/5BARBARA Iloilo (Singapore, 2013) 3/5iloiloTurtles Can Fly (Iran, 2004) 3/5turtles can flyLore (Australia and Germany,2012) 3/5loreSalaam Bombay (India, 1988) 3/5salaam bombayKatyn (Poland, 2007) 3/5katynA Moment to Remember (South Korea, 2004) 3/5a moment to rememberThe Well-Digger’s Daughter (France, 2011) 3/5the well diggersGomorrah (Italy, 2008) 3/5gomorrahA Time for Drunken Horses (Iran, 2000) 3/5time for drunken horsesOwl and the Sparrow (Vietnam, 2007) 3/5owl and sparrowPola X (France, 1999) 3/5pola xRashomon (Japan, 1950) 3/5rashomon1Tsotsi (South Africa, 2005) 3/5tsotsiA Royal Affair (Denmark, 2012) 3/5a royal affairCries and Whispers (Sweden, 1972) 3/5CriesAndWhispersGemini (Argentina, 2005) 3/5geminiMy Way (South Korea, 2011) 3/5my waySin Nombre (US and Mexico 2009) 3/5sin-nombreThe Double Life of Veronique (Poland, 1991) 3/5the double life of Veron4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania, 2007) 3/54-months-3-weeks-2-daysDays of Being Wild (Hong Kong, 1990) 3/5days of being wildSchlussmacher (Germany, 2013) 3/5schlussmacherIn the Realm of the Senses (Japan, 1976) 3/5in the realm of sensesTaste of Cherry (Iran, 1997) 2/5taste of cherryThe Host (South Korea, 2006) 2/5the hostUn Chien Andalou (France, 1929) 2/5Un_Chien_Andalou2The Milk of Sorrow (Peru, 2009) 2/5milk of sorrowJan Dara (Thailand, 2001) 2/5jan daraBattle Royale (Japan, 2000) 2/5battle-royale





Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photos. No copyright infringement intended. If you own anything and would like it to be credited or removed, please contact me and I will gladly oblige.

March 20, 2015 - 7:50 am


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