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Four Fun Foreign Films

May 23, 2019

Four FUN foreign films? Is that even a thing?

If you’re like me, I didn’t grow up with access to a lot of foreign films. We didn’t have an art house anywhere nearby, so I don’t think I saw my first foreign film until college. For some weird reason, foreign films have this snooty stereotype. Think depressing German cinema from the 70s. But I’m here today to offer you four uplifting, enjoyable, and dare I say, funny foreign films.

This movie is a little weird at first, because of the subject matter, but give it a chance. In rural India, it was (and probably is) difficult to get the proper feminine hygiene products. And we’re not talking the 1960s, this is in the 21st century. An inventor by nature, Lakshmi sets out to create affordable products for his wife and sisters. His idea catches on and he travels to New York to speak to the United Nations, and it is the most moving speech I’ve seen in a while. If you watch nothing else in the movie, watch this part. Move over Ted Talks. This movie is based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, and it is in Hindi.

I must admit I’m a sucker for a good ballet movie. Main character Polina is on track to join the Bolshoi Ballet in her nature Russia when a travelling French company shows her a more modern form of dance that she falls in love with. Instead of following her initial plan, Polina moves to France to train with famous modern choreographer Liria Elsaj (played by trained dancer, Juliette Binoche). The movie is in French and Russian.

In the tradition of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this one takes a little different spin. Antonio and Paolo meet and fall in love in Berlin. When they decide to get married, they return to Antonio’s small village in Italy. His mother immediately starts making plans, but his traditional father, and town mayor, is more reluctant. It’s funny, it’s moving and it ends on a great dance number. The movie is in Italian (obviously).

I saved the best for last. This is the best movie I have seen in a long time. Turo is stuck in a small village in Finland. He works as an orderly at a local mental institution, but in his free time he is the lead singer for a symphonic postapocalyptic reindeer-grinding Christ-abusing extreme war pagan fennoscandian hardcore metal band. He and his band have been practicing for 12 years without a gig. When a Norwegian music promoter happens through their village, they decide now is the time to go public. Hijinks ensue. This movie is in Finnish and I loved every minute of it. Seriously, if you only watch one of these, this is the one to watch. Then please bring it back so I can watch it again.
So there you have it. Four fun foreign films to fit your fantasy. 
Onnellinen katselu*…
:) Amanda
*Finnish for Happy watching…

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.

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