5-bullet Friday: Foreign Movie Edition – June 30, 2017

What a week! The past few days have been quite the rollercoaster. But, as always, life goes on and I’m continuing to realize that things always work out in the long run.

Each week, I put together a list of 5 things I enjoy. This week, I’m doing my five favorite foreign films.

I’ve been a foreign film fan ever since I became obsessed with linguistics and foreign language in college. I minored in French and have been continually learning Arabic for the past 10 years. All these films came out when I was the biggest connoisseur around 2011. I always say the best way to learn a language is to do things that you enjoy in that language, and movies are a great place to start.

    • El Secreto De Sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes) [2009 – Argentina] – This is my favorite foreign film of all time. If you watch any movie on this list, watch this one. The story follows an Argentinian detective investigating a murder that happened many years ago. He’s now retired and writing a novel about his experience with the case, which has haunted him ever since. The movie has a great twist at the end, and a feel-good ending involving a well-balanced love story. This is probably the most universally enjoyable movie on this list, it even spurred an American remake, which I haven’t seen yet.

  • Ajami [2009, Arabic/Hebrew – Palestine/Israel] – Ajami is a heartwarming and heartbreaking story at the same time, recounting the young adult years of a Palestinian teen growing up outside of Tel Aviv and in the Palestinian territory. It chronicles a manslaughter charge that he has to desperately raise money for, and resorts to selling drugs, all while trying to come of age in a difficult environment.

  • 13 Assassins [2010, Japanese – Japan] – 13 Assassins is actually a remake of an old Japanese film. It’s a testosterone-filled samurai action film that’s a really fun experience. It’s based on historical events with some obvious embellishments.

  • Hors la loi  (Outside the Law) [2010, French/Arabic – France/Algeria] – Hors la loi is a gangster movie that centers around 3 Algerian brothers in France after WWII. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this one, so it’s in my queue to watch it again soon

  • Elite Squad: The Enemy Within [2011, Portuguese – Brazil] – This is a great police action movie set in Rio De Janeiro, and stars Wagner Moura, who played Pablo Escobar in Netflix’s Narcos series. It’s an insanely well produced movie and Brazilians love to talk about it.