The best movies about different cultures and nationalities were created for two main reasons: to entertain and to educate. They can teach you about a culture that’s entirely new to you, or they can remind you of one that’s familiar. We are not talking about documentaries here—we mean feature films that tell stories about people from all over the world with varying styles of filmmaking.
City of God
This 2002 film is set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It’s based on a book by Paulo Lins, who grew up in these slums with his mother and sister after their father died. The movie tells the story of two young boys who grow up together in this rough environment—one wants to be a photographer, while the other winds up becoming involved with gangs and drugs. And you will quickly learn that it takes a lot of luck to survive the streets of Rio. Some people like to try their luck in a different way by using Código Bónus Betclic.
The film won Best Director at Cannes and Best Foreign Language Film at Academy Awards. We recommend watching it if you want to learn more about Brazilian culture!
I Am Cuba
The movie is a 1962 Soviet-Cuban co-production directed by Mikhail Kalatozov and based on the novel To See Cuba Before It’s Divided by Alejo Carpentier. It was filmed in Cuba, with Russian crew members.
The movie stars Marlon Brando as an American artist who comes to Cuba to paint the country, but as he gets acquainted with its people, he finds himself unable to do so because they seem to lack any distinguishing features at all. The film features music by Ernesto Lecuona and song lyrics written by Gabriel García Márquez.
It is a French film about an introverted girl who tries to find her place in the world. The movie is filled with all sorts of French culture and humor, so it’s perfect for anyone who wants to feel like they’re learning about a new country while still being entertained by a fun movie.
Another influential movie in French language is the “Black Girl”. The story follows a Senegalese woman who moves to France and finds racism and prejudice. It won awards in Cannes and Venice.
Lost in Translation
The movie stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson as two people who are traveling through Japan. It was filmed in Tokyo and Kyoto, with the characters staying at a famous hotel in Tokyo called Park Hyatt Tokyo. The movie also includes scenes from other parts of Japan such as Osaka and Mount Fuji, but it only focuses on those two cities because they’re the ones that had the best atmosphere for what they were trying to film (specifically Kyoto). The movie is based on director Sofia Coppola’s experience living in Japan when she was younger and she wanted to bring some of that culture into her films.
Watching foreign movies will help you understand the different cultures in our world better. I hope your life will be enriched by these movies, and we also recommend checking this extensive Oscars list with many nominees and winners for best foreign picture.