You will miss out on some of the best stuff available if you restrict yourself to seeing only English-language movies. Since the beginning of the medium, a significant portion of the most cutting-edge filmmaking has originated from outside of our boundaries.
Movies like Parasite and The Hunt provide compelling stories while simultaneously making biting social commentary on important and current topics. Thanks to streaming services, these movies can now be found instantly rather than taking months or even years to find, which is ideal for all movie fans.
Uncertain about where to begin? Here’s a brief on 4 movie masterpieces to help you find the right one for your taste.
Roma – 2018
Roma recounts a multi-layered tale about a housekeeper in a posh area of Mexico City in the 1970s. Yalitza Aparicio’s character, Cleo, must balance the stress of her unexpected pregnancy with the problems with her employer’s family. While protests envelop their community, Cleo has little time to heal her mental scars as she steps up to support another hurt woman and her family.
Roma is a deeply felt and intimate journey through the joys and hardships of life. Each plot oozes into the next, demonstrating how similar people are regardless of their origin. Alfonso Cuarón, the director of what may be his most moving movie to date, creates a very personal portrayal of the family we choose to maintain.
Parasite – 2019
An authentic crossover hit, Parasite, has elevated Bong to the status of one of the greatest international entertainers by giving him more exposure than his English-language blockbusters.
It is worthwhile to read everything that has been written about the film’s socio-political intelligence, but I want to take this opportunity to praise Bong’s aesthetic: the complete assurance and clarity in his staging and cutting, qualities that any action director (including Spielberg) would enviously possess.
Watch how quickly a simple hangout scenario becomes a tense suspense situation and eventually into horror, and you’ll understand you’re with a true master.
This is not a film – 2011
The title mimics respect: Panahi lets everyone—especially Iran’s censors—know that this homemade oddity is not, God forbid, a film while he is imprisoned in his residence under house arrest for seditious cinematic activities. But of course, it is.
Panahi shows himself to be quite the not-a-filmmaker by fusing a variety of genres and modes (video diary, self-portrait, prison drama, existential comedy, social critique) into a work that manages to simultaneously reach out to his peers (filmmakers and social activists around the world) and raise a middle finger at his oppressors, despite his lack of resources, money, collaborators, or legal authority to raise a camera.
Breathless – 1960
A whole new generation has recently discovered Jean-Luc Godard’s lighthearted parody on disastrous romance, which has recently returned to theaters for its 50th anniversary. Don’t call it a “revival,” though; if any movie was ever truly alive forever, it was this one.
The film has a cast of attractive main characters who parody pop culture (hello, Pulp Fiction), are handheld, streetwise camerawork by Raoul Coutard, and the seductive appeal of civilizations clashing. However, in the context of this list, Breathless’ introduction of a buzzing, young Paris with store lights shining in the dusk has the most impact.
The film is representative of everything that international cinema has to offer because it serves as a passport to this city and its dreamers.
Authored by Rajasik Mukherjee, Media and Communication student at Manipal Institute of Communication.