10 Foreign films on Netflix for every movie buff

By Sonia / April 23, 2021
10 Foreign films on Netflix for every movie buff

From horror to rom-com here is our list of top 10 foreign films on Netflix that every movie buff as to see

Thithi

 Thithi is a 2015 Kannada film from India that begins with the death of 101-year old, Century Gowda, and follows his family as they prepare for his funeral celebration 11 days later. The story-line focuses on three generations of his descendants, as his son, grandson, and great-grandson are caught up in individual dramas related to the impending funeral, as well as their own personal aspirations. 

His son Gaddappa, an elderly wanderer, absconds with a traveling family of shepherds, his grandson Thammanna hatches an elaborate plan to claim the family land for himself, and his great-grandson Abhi becomes enamoured by a young shepherd girl whom he pursues doggedly. 

Filmed using non-professional actors recruited from villages in the southern Karnataka state of India, Thithi is a humorous and enjoyable portrait of life in a rural part of South Asia rarely seen by the world-at-large. As a realistic slice-of-life, the film gives the viewer an outsider’s glimpse into not just the lifestyle of many residents of rural India, but also their elaborate customs and rituals related to death according to Hindu tradition. Thithi is the type of film that moves at its own deliberate pace, but ultimately provides a winning experience in both its storytelling and its cultural significance.

 

Lawless 

Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, and Shia LaBeouf (the good Shia Laboeuf) all-star in this gangster tale, based on a true story. As a result, Lawless is cliché-free, fast, and violent – yet it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The Bondurant brothers live according to different rules, yet run a successful business during the prohibition era. When new authorities try to shut them down violently, each one of them has a way of dealing with it. The story runs very smoothly, and added to the perfect performances and great staging, Lawless becomes very entertaining, and a true pleasure to watch.

 

We the ..Animals 

Three half Puerto-Rican, half white boys grow up in suburban New York, in this personal movie shot on stunning 16mm film (a personal favourite).

This movie follows the boys, often literally with the camera behind their backs, as their parents’ relationship goes through turmoil. The kids are often left unattended and have to fend for themselves. The beauty of the movie lies in illustrating how they grow-up swinging between the angry character of their father and the protective nature of their mother.

This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time, and I think I loved it so much because I was able to relate and feel for the main character (one of the kids). I really hope you will too.

 

Atlantics 

In Atlantics, the entrancing debut feature from Senegalese-French filmmaker Mati Diop, a debt must be paid. To construct a large glass tower in the coastal city of Dakar, an unscrupulous construction manager leans on his employees and refuses to provide the backpay they are owed. 

One of the workers, a young man named Souleiman, is in love with Ada, a young woman engaged to a rich family’s obnoxious, preening son. After establishing the tricky dynamics of this relationship, Diop’s story takes a number of startling turns, introducing supernatural elements and a noir-like detective subplot. As the events unfold, often in engrossingly shot and exquisitely paced night sequences, the movie retains an ethereal quality that unsettles the imagination. Rather than providing conventional dramatic catharsis, Atlantics mimics the rhythms of the ocean, drawing in the viewer with each new wave of tension.

 

Brahman Naman 

Truly, nothing can spice up a school quiz tournament like the quest to lose your virginity. This Netflix original set in India in the 1980s sends a Bangalore trio of teenage horndogs to Calcutta to win on both counts. What results is a charming, colourful, surprisingly raunchy portrait of the universal teenage experience.

 

Tune in for Love 

This slow romance is set in a Seoul bakery during the 1990s. A boy fresh out of juvenile detention and a part-time employee fall for each other while working there. For a while, their existence is joyful and quiet as they sell bread and bond. However, the Asian financial crisis of 1997 forces the bakery to close. This makes them seek different jobs away from each other. As a romance, Tune in for Love is not original but it doesn’t need to. It’s just easy and enjoyable.

 

The African Doctor

In this French movie based on a true story, a med-school graduate from Congo is offered a job as the doctor to the president of Zaire. He refuses and chooses instead to move to a small town in France in hopes of getting French citizenship and securing a better future for his children.

The story, which starts in 1975, is set in a village where people had never seen a Black person. To that, Seyolo, the doctor, says: “So what? Now they will.”

The culture clash is both villagers-to-new-arrivals and the other way. Seyolo tells his family that he was hired in a village “north of Paris”, but all they hear is “Paris”, only to be shocked by the state of the rainy and muddy countryside village.

 

Shéhérazade 

A gritty and realistic thriller set in France’s notorious capital city of crime – Marseille. 

Zachary is released from Juvenile prison to learn that his mother has abandoned him. He finds kinship in an underage sex worker by the name of Shéhérazade. 

 

 

This seems like the set-up for a tough watch, but Shéhérazade plays like a romance when it’s slow, and a crime thriller when it’s fast (it’s mostly fast). Everything about the story and two leads’ relationship rings true. Added to the fact that it has no interest in emotionally manipulating you, the movie is more gripping and thought-provoking than sad.

A great story, fantastic acting from the cast of first-timers, and outstanding direction give the feeling that Shéhérazade is bound to become a modern classic. If you liked City of God, you will love this. 

 

 Divines 

Winner of a Camera d’Or, the debutant’s prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Director Houda Benyamina’s first feature film is fast-paced and full of energy. Deep in the impoverished suburbs of Paris, the infamous banlieues, it tells the story of Dounia (played by Oulaya Amamra), a mouthy teenager, who is not content with what society is giving her. She’s angry; she wants more. And so, together with her best friend Maimouna (Déborah Lukumuena), she decides to finally make some cash as a runner for a drug dealer. 

 

 

While there’s obviously some feminism in there somewhere, that’s not at the heart of what this film is about. It’s about the economic reality in a world of poverty and about two friends and their desire for freedom—no matter what the cost. An exhilarating and thought-provoking debut helped along by Amamra’s amazing acting.

 

Kung Fu Hustle 

Last but definitely not least, this movie is close to my heart, as it brings back fond memories of enjoying my summer vacations with my favourite action movie, while I lounged on the makeshift sofa we had back then.

Written, directed and starring the auteur Stephan Chow, Kung Fu Hustle is a distillation of decades of Hong-Kong Cinema’s greatest export: the martial arts comedy. Full of numerous allusions and witty nods to other greats in the genre, this film is nonetheless entirely fresh and new. Equal parts hilarious and breathtakingly action-packed, Kung Fu Hustle showcases an enormous amount of raw talent, cinema magic and ass-kicking for any true cinema connoisseur.

 

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Sonia

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