Six Best Foreign Language Films

If you are tired of watching films by genre or hype, try this list!

Arranged chronologically, the list talks about films that reverberates with Federico Fellini’s understanding about them, “…far closer to the miraculous creation of life than, say, a painting or music or even literature.”

Tokyo Story (1953): A film by YasujirōOzu it is a calm contemplation on life, a life after war, loss, guilt, resigned sadness and separation. The film is an indulging retreat into the black and white world of Tokyo that stays with you years after. With the simple lesson of “life goes on” at the heart of it, the film explores its subject matter unlike any art form that preceded or followed it.

Nights of Cabiria (1957): Federico Fellini’s tragedy set in rural Italy reverberates with melancholy and grief. Cabiria is a human concoction of defiance and vulnerability living in the wretched outskirts of the town and making do with bare minimum till she is devastated (or saved?) by fate.

Life is Beautiful (1997): The Roberto Benigni film is set against Holocaust to show the indomitable spirit of humanity and love in the face of colossal inhumanity and death. Guido Orefice’s, played by Benigni, defiant optimism and final victory against Nazi persecutors almost reminds you of the famous quote by Ruskin Bond, “When all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.”

In the Mood for Love (2000):  The Wong Kar-Wai romantic drama remains a visual masterpiece even two decades after its release. Set in the Hong Kong of 1960s, the plot revolves around the dilapidated, lonely lives of two neighbours Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan and slowly fizzes into a love story well-choreographed by glances, encounters, occasional strokes and silences. The film touches on despair and ennui of modern love throbbing inside a shoddy and congested apartment of urban Hong Kong.

A separation (2011): A film by AsgharFarhadi, the dialogue-driven Iranian drama zooms into contemporary class discrepancy and renders an emotional, political and realistic story in its wake. As we try to make sense of the frayed ends of Nadar and Simin’s relationship. This furore is complicated when Razieh enters the couple’s privileged and sophisticated conundrum. Farhadi shows the dichotomy of these two households and simultaneously comments on the theocratic state of Iran.

Parasite (2019): The sordid and disgruntled world of Parasite by Bong Jong-Ho is a dark comedy thriller set in South Korea’s Seoul. Throughout its 2 hours 12 minutes running time, the film takes you on a rollercoaster ride of acute class tension, bubbling to ooze if not burst aloud—and this is what justified why the film is a Palme d’Or winning thriller.

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