Foreign Language Movies: 5 of the Best


Foreign movies, much like foreign travel, can help people understand different cultures and life experiences.

In no special order, here are five of the best foreign-language movies:

  • The Bicycle Thief (Italy, 1948): a hapless father accepts a job for a man with a bicycle, is forced to retrieve his pawned bike to do the job and then has it stolen. Eventually, he is tempted to steal a bicycle himself.
  • The Lives of Others (2006, Germany): an accomplished Stasi agent becomes disillusioned with his job and his colleagues when he discovers the real reason he is being asked to spy on a popular playwright.
  • Breathless (1960, France): a young Parisian criminal with a fixation on Humphrey Bogart’s movie persona kills a policeman before hiding out in the apartment of his lover. She betrays him when she finds out what he has done.
  • The Seventh Seal (1957, Sweden): a knight returns to a plague-stricken Sweden after fighting in the crusades. There, on a beach, he challenges the personification of death to a chess match.
  • Yi Yi (2000, Taiwan/Japan) is a poignant domestic drama, directed by Edward Yang, which portrays a Taiwanese family through the different perspectives of three family members.