Foreign Films That Should Be On Your Watch List

Since the release of the highly-acclaimed foreign language film, Parasite, the media has been sucking up every ounce of Bong Joon Ho’s masterpiece and churning its bits in the money-making pit that is, Hollywood. In the past weeks, there have been multiple discussions about the possibility of an American adaptation, a multi-episode series, and even a six-hour-long series. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not here to hate on the Academy Award-winning film. I found it absolutely amazing! It’s an adventure of pure comfort, unsettlement, and bliss all in one seating. 

However, now that all eyes are on the South Korean film that broke barriers and made history, I think it’s about time we also shed some light on several other foreign-language films that deserve to be recognized. Below are a few of the foreign-language films and short films that I highly recommend. 

Related Article: Oscar Nominations: the Surprises, the Snubs and the Race to Gold

1. Portrait of a Lady On Fire

Image via IMDb

This story follows the lives of two women by the coast of an isolated island in Brittany, where one of the women is obligated to take on the challenge of painting a wedding portrait of the aforementioned lady. It sounds a bit uninteresting, but according to film critiques, the basic premise of the story gives almost nothing away about the film itself. One IMDB reviewer described the film as an indulging story about the development of female relationships, accompanied by excellent scriptwriting and cinematography. Although the film is not released in theaters yet, this French film is something to keep an eye out for if you’re into wild surprises and representation.

2. Roma

Image via IMDb

Since its release in 2018, the Academy Award-winning film, Roma, has captured the eyes of many film enthusiasts and connoisseurs. Famous for its black and white approach to filmmaking, the story is set in 1970s Mexico and it follows the life of a female domestic worker and a middle-class family as they embark on a journey of family bonding. This highly acclaimed film is considered to be a complete masterpiece not only because of the craft applied to the film but also because of the authenticity and vulnerability of the story. Made available on Netflix, I think this film is one you should get cozy with this weekend and watch either alone or with some appreciative friends. 

3. Fauve

Image via IMDb 

Fauve is a highly emotional Canadian short film that has put the director, Jeremy Comte on the radar of every Hollywood production agency out there. This film follows the story of two young boys testing the chances of fate by engaging in playful power games in a surface mine. I would say it’s a six-minute masterpiece filled with ear-bending and engaging blissful work of filmmaking. It cuts your conscience right in the middle and gets you thinking of playful bliss and its consequences. 

4. The Farewell

Image via IMDb

Another highly acclaimed, yet unglorified Asian film is The Farewell. Written and directed by Lulu Wang, this Chinese-American film is one for the books because of its inclusive and diverse cast, its vulnerable storytelling about culture, and it’s beautiful cinematography. This story follows the life of a Chinese-American woman named Billie, who goes back home to China in order to visit her terminally-ill grandmother. Not to give too much away, this is an absolutely emotional story that embraces the importance of family and culture in a world of diverging perspectives. It’s already available for purchase on YouTube, so you should take that movie night and turn it into a stay-in kind of night with a box of tissues and maybe some takeout. 

Keeping things simple and up-to-date, I have given you a list of four recent foreign films, aside from Parasite, that I think should be on your radar.  If you didn’t notice, all of these films were either recognized by highly acclaimed film festivals or snubbed by the Academy Awards. I think 2020 has so far been monumental for foreign films as the industry is slowly starting to appreciate more of what the West has yet to experience. 

Being a part of this moment is a huge changing point for our perspectives as we get to see a side of cinema that’s uncommon to our own experiences so go ahead, grab some snacks and get binging!