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Your Favourite Foreign Language Films

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Sami Blood (Sameblod) is a Swedish drama about a Sami girl in the 1930s. In school they measured her skull because phrenology was still seen as a science. She wanted to deny her ethnic identity and become part of Swedish society, but she wasn't accepted. As an old woman she looks back upon that period and finally comes to terms with herself and her sister, who did stay in the traditional Sami community.


The Commune (Kollektivet) is a drama by Thomas Vinterberg. It has some of the actors of The Celebration and a comparable style, although it no longer strictly foillows the Dogme rules. When a married couple (Ulrich Thomsen and Trine Dyrholm) inherits a house in the early 1970s they decide to start a commune, based on the principles of free love. Problems arise over financial costs and over the husband's open relationship with a younger woman.



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If anyone didn't notice from my catch-up picks I have been watching a series of films about serial killers.  Not for any nefarious purposes, mind you.  :D  I like to watch films with similar themes.  Next stop it is films with planes.  :lol:

Anyway, there are two from 2016 with the serial killer theme.  Both are communist period films from Eastern Europe where, like communist Russia the party line was that such criminals do no not exist in the East.  And in both the original suspect is innocent but the police fearing the axe for incompetence engage in a cover-up which allows the killings to continue.  Each film is pretty good.  Strangled is rather brutal to start but gets better when it begins to concentrate on the police investigation.


Strangled (2016) Arpad Sopsits, Hungary



I’m a Killer (2016) Maciej Piepzyca, Poland


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The winner of the 2016 Mar del Plata Film Festival Best International Picture was ….


People That Are Not Me (2016) Hadas Ben Aroya, Israel


The winner of the 2016 Mar del Plata Film Festival Best Argentine Picture was ….


Apprentice (2016) Tomas De Leone, Argentina


The winner of the 2016 Mar del Plata Film Festival Best Latin Picture was …


Martirio (2016) Vincent Carelli, Tatiana Ameida, Ernesto de Carvalho, Brazil

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The 2016 winner of the Cairo International Film Festival's Best Picture Award was …


Mimosas (2016) Oliver Laxe, Morocco


The 2016 winner of the Cairo International Film Festival's Best Arabic Picture Award was …


Sweet Smell of Spring (2016) Ferid Boughedir, Tunisia

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2017 will start tomorrow.  When we have done with 2019 we will do a best of the decade review (2010-2019) for a few days then we will do a Top 10 of All-time for a week or so.  A ranked list denoting the year of release is preferred.  These can include the foreign silents right up until this year's releases.

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My top FF films of 2017 of the 8 that I have seen are ….




1.  Loveless (2017) Andrey Zvyaginstev, Russia

2.  Blade of the Immortal (2017) Takashi Miike, Japan

3.  First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (2017) Angelina Jolie, Cambodia

4.  I am Not a Witch (2017) Rungaro Nyoni, Zambia

5.  Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017) Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan [dubbed]

6.  Faces Places (2017) JR, Agnes Varda, France


and I’ve also seen …

Foxtrot (2017) Samuel Maoz, Israel

Like a Cat on a Highway (2017) Riccardo Milani, Italy

Edited by Bogie56
added First They Killed My Father
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  1. On Body and Soul, Ildikó Enyedi, Hungary
  2. The Insult, Ziad Doueiri, Lebanon
  3. Mektoub, My Love, Abdellatif Kechiche, France
  4. What Will People Say, Iram Haq, Norway
  5. Just Like Our Parents, Laís Bodanzky, Brazil
  6. Jeune Femme, Léonor Serraille, France
  7. Bye Bye Germany, Sam Garbarski, Germany
  8. This Is Our Land, Lucas Belvaux, France
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On Body and Soul (Teströl és Lélekröl) is a weird Hungarian drama about a young woman who works as a controller in an abattoir. She's very strict, doesn't show any emotion and avoids personal contact. Then it turns out that she has a shared repeated dream with a colleague.


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  1. Tigers Are Not Afraid, Issa Lopez, Mexico
  2. The Other Side of Hope, Aki Kaurismaki, Finland
  3. The Square, Ruben Ostlund, Sweden
  4. Thelma, Joachim Trier, Norway
  5. In the Fade, Fatih Akin, Germany
  6. Blade of the Immortal, Takashi Miike, Japan
  7. The Villainess, Byung-gil Jung, South Korea
  8. Outrage Coda, Takeshi Kitano, Japan

I've also seen:

  • Revenge, Coralie Fargeat, France
  • Ravenous, Robin Aubert, Canada
  • Cold Hell, Stefan Ruzowitzky, Germany
  • Mon Mon Mon Monsters, Giddens Ko, Taiwan
  • Veronica, Paco Plaza, Spain
  • One Cut of the Dead, Shin'ichiro Ueda, Japan
  • Errementari, Paul Urkijo Alijo, Spain (Basque)
  • Before We Vanish, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan
  • China Salesman, Tan Bing, China


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Tigers Are Not Afraid is a Mexican drama that utilizes supernatural elements in a "Magical Realism" way. A group of young orphan kids are living on the streets of a violence-ravaged city under the control of the drug cartels. One of the kids has stolen a phone from a gangster that has sensitive information on it, and the kids are hoping to use it for profit. Meanwhile, the newest member of the orphan group (the title is their rallying cry) is a young girl whose mother has gone missing. The girl believes that the spirit world has granted her three wishes to use to find her mother and seek justice. 


I thought this movie was fantastic, a real surprise. It's dark, but has heart and finds humor at times. There is very effective use of special effects in subtle ways. The viewer is left uncertain if what they've seen is really supernatural or the wishful imaginings of a child in horrific circumstances. Recommended. 


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I wanted to mention something about one of my "also seens". One Cut of the Dead is a Japanese horror-comedy about a film crew going to the Philippines to make a cheap zombie movie, only to encounter real zombies. The film plays around with structure, although I won't go into much detail to avoid spoilers. I will say that much of the film's second half is about the making of a movie, with lots of inside-the-industry jokes. 


I thought it was pretty terrible, neither funny nor horrifying, as well as being too-broadly acted and full of cliches. However, I seem to be in the minority with this opinion. Like the previous movie I mentioned above, this film premiered in its home country in 2017, going on to play the film festival circuit and open in various Asian markets throughout 2018, but not opening in the US until this year. As such, some sites consider this a 2019 release, including Rotten Tomatoes, which lists this movie as the highest rated movie released in 2019 thus far, with a 100% Fresh rating!


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1. The Young Karl Marx, Raoul Peck, France

2. Loveless, Andrey Zvyaginstev, Russia

3. Trotsky, Alexander Kott, Konstantin Statsky, Russia

4. The Unknown Soldier, Aku Louhimies, Finland

and I have also seen...

24 Frames, Abbas Kiarostami, Iran


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The Young Karl Marx- The German philosopher marries Jenny and runs from the law in this film, all the while trying to help the lower class to break free from poverty. Meanwhile his ally Engels tries to woo the fiery Mary Burns who despises his upper class origin, by showing her he does care about the suffering of the poor. This is a very well shot film on the man's early life. I feel Stefan Konarske really steels the spotlight in this one. His performance as Engels is probably my favorite of the year. 

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 1.  November  Rainer Sarnet, Estonia

 2.  Faces Places  Agnes Varda, JR, France

 3.  24 Frames  Abbas Kiarostami, Iran/France

 4.  Ismael's Ghosts  Arnaud Desplechin, France

 5.  The Other Side of Hope  Aki Kaurismaki, Finland

 6.  Loveless  Andrey Zyvagintsev, Russia

 7.  Foxtrot  Samuel Maoz, Israel

 8.  Zama  Lucretia Martel, Argentina

 9.  Let the Sun Shine In  Claire Denis, France

10.  Madame Hyde  Serge Bozon, France

11.  On the Beach at Night Alone  Hong Sang-soo, South Korea

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The 2017 Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film included …


A Fantastic Woman (2017) Sebastian Lelio, Chile ****



The Insult (2017) Ziad Doueiri, France



Loveless (2017) Andrey Zvyaginstev, Russia



On Body and Soul (2017) Ildiko Envedi, Hungary



The Square (2017) Ruben Ostlund, Sweden.  [I don't know how much of this is in English, or if there is just an English language version but the Academy deemed it a foreign language film.]

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