If you’re looking to freshen up your film repertoire, set your sights overseas. There’s a whole world of film outside of America’s borders that is often overlooked. Don’t know where to begin? Start off your fearless screenplay exploration with a few of these favorites:
10. Quick Gun Murugan (India) This irreverent Western spoof features a flashily dressed ‘cowboy’ who aims to short circuit an evil restaurant owner’s schemes to create the world’s best non-vegetarian dosa.
9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (England) It is worth cutting down any multitude of trees with a herring if that means you would watch this quirky comedy, an extravaganza that recounts King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail.
8. El laberinto del fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) (Mexico) In this thought-provoking film, a young girl escapes from the harsh realities that surround her by embroiling herself in a complex and, at times, creepy fantasy world.
7. Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) (Germany) In a fear-ridden East Germany, a Stasi officer monitoring a playwright finds reason to help the very man he is supposed to incriminate.
6. Yi Yi (A One and a Two) (Taiwan) Spanning three generations, this heartfelt story examines the intricacies of middle-class life in Taiwan.
5. Tsotsi (South Africa) When a young man from a Soweto slum hijacks a car and discovers a baby inside, he must come to terms with his criminal lifestyle.
4. Le Roi de Couer (The King of Hearts) (France) You won’t stop laughing while watching this French film, a parody of war that makes you question who is really off their rocker — the members of the local insane asylum, or the soldiers belligerently battling in war. View trailer here.
3. The Wind that Shakes the Barley (Ireland) During the 1920s, when Ireland is seething with its war for independence, two brothers take up arms for the IRA, only to reach a dire divide as the country’s politics become more complex.
2. Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies) (Japan) The story of a teenage boy and his young sister grappling with the consequences of WWII, this chef d’oeuvre of animation is considered one of the most poignant anti-war films of all time.
1. Ladri di Biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) (Italy) Frequently cited as one of the finest films in history, this neorealist movie has us follow a poor man as he scours the streets of Rome in search of his bicycle, a necessity for his livelihood.
What’s your favorite foreign film?