The Top 5 Foreign Films to Stream for a Rainy Day

Foreign films are such an immersive experience: they take you into a story very similar to something you may have experienced before while allowing you to see these experiences through the lens of another culture. Growing up, I loved watching foreign films because they gave me the opportunity to explore the world and life of someone completely different from me. In the past, the downside to foreign films is that they are often hard to find and watch. Luckily, the introduction of streaming platforms like Netflix has made accessing films from all over the world a lot easier. Here are the five best foreign films available on the most common streaming platforms. 

  1. 1. Shoplifters (2018)

    This film follows a “family” from Japan brought together by their poverty and unfortunate life circumstances. The family is introduced to us by a neglected little girl who finds them squatting in a small apartment. The director, Hirokazu Koreeda, explores humanism in the love that the family has with each other despite their pasts and criminality. The film was nominated for the Oscar and Golden Globe for best foreign film in 2019, and can be found to stream on Hulu.

  2. 2. Train to Busan (2016)

    If you love zombie films, then Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan is the film for you. After a virus breaks out in South Korea that transforms people into zombies, a girl and her father board a train to Busan, an area quarantined from the virus. Yeon’s brilliant use of character development makes this film not only terrifying, but quite a moving one. The film can be found on Netflix.

  3. 3. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

    This film is a brilliant comedy made by the world-renowned Taika Waititi, now most well-known in the US for his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film follows a rebellious and troubled orphan named Ricky Baker (his name is very important), who ventures into the New Zealand bush with his foster uncle. The two, who appear very different, build a bond through their adventures and avoidance of a government-sanctioned manhunt for them. The film can be found on Hulu.  

  4. 4. A Separation (2011)

    This film is made by another world-renowned director Asghar Farhadi and follows the story of an Iranian couple who are trying to figure out how to re-order their family after filing for divorce. The mother wants to take their daughter and move out of the country and the father wants to stay in Iran and take care of his father who suffers from Alzheimer’s. The film won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best foreign film and was also nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay. You can find this film on Netflix.

  5. 5. Tangerines (2013) 

    Not to be confused with the 2015 Tangerine, this Estonian and Georgian film follows the story of a humble tangerine farmer in a breakaway area of Georgia faced with military conflict. The man takes in two wounded soldiers from either side of the conflict and forces them to resist fighting each other while on his property. Directed by Georgian director Zaza Urushadze, the film was nominated for the Oscar and Golden Globe for best foreign-language film in 2015. You can find this film on Hulu.

Hopefully, these films are enough at the moment to hold you over for the next rainy day. Happy streaming!


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