Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Top Ten Foreign Movies On Netflix

By Netflix [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsWikipedia.com

I love watching movies. And that's probably why I love Netflix so much. You get unlimited movies and shows for only 8 bucks a month. You can't beat that. People complain that there aren't enough good  movies on Netflix, but that is not true. Netflix might not have mainstream or current Hollywood movies but it does have AMAZING, CLASSIC, older movies. I have a wide range of movie preferences, but I do have a soft spot for independent/foreign movies. Here is a list of my top ten so far:

1. My Name Is Khan (Hindi/English) I just recently watched this movie. I am so mad at myself that I did not watch this movie earlier. I am a little skeptical when it comes to Bollywood movies, because they usually don't seem to have the topics I'd be interested on. Boy, was I wrong with this one. This movie is AMAZING. It is about a guy with Asperger's Syndrome who also happens to be Muslim. He gets married and lives happily for a while. After 9/11 his life takes a turn for the worst and he decides to go on a journey following the president around the country hoping for a chance to meet him. His tagline is "My name is Khan and I'm not a terrorist", hence the title of the movie. In his trip he changes the lives of many with his humanity, honesty. The main actor, Shah Rukh Khan. is like the Brad Pitt/Johnny Depp of Bollywood, and a heck of an amazing one. This movie moved my heart like few others have, and it is funny, sad, tense, and happy all at the same time. Seriously, if you hate to read subtitles in movies, try to seriously watch this one because it's so worth it.

Sadly, My Name Is Khan is no longer available on Netflix Streaming anymore.

2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish version) - I know there has been lots of hype lately surrounding this movie. It is just that good.  The original title for the book which this movie is based on is "Men Who Hate Women". Yup, couldn't agree more. The movie follows Naomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander, a character who is a brilliant computer hacker, and also socially awkward. She decides to help the journalist Mikael Blomkvist in solving a case of a missing girl.  But Blomskist has his own legal troubles to deal with. The ending is totally unexpected and that's what made this movie for me. The movie is brutally honest, strong, at times too much to watch, but totally amazing and different than what we are used to in a mystery movie.

3. Aftershock - This is a Chinese Drama (in Mandarin). It is heartbreaking, real, sad.  In 1976, a really bad earthquake hits Tangshan with terrible results for the population. A mother if forced to choose between her twin kids. A huge concrete slab is crushing them both and only one can be saved. The mother chooses to save only one of them. The other twin is left for dead as the mother leaves to get medical attention for the twin still alive. As a miracle, the other twin left for dead is actually alive, but feels terrible for her mother's decision and gets adopted by a military family, never really wanting to look for birth family. And the story goes from there as the separated family tries to rebuild their lives that the earthquake destroyed. Great drama.

4. Biutiful - (Spanish) Javier Bardem can do no wrong in my eyes. In my opinion he is the best Spanish Actor and one of the best actors in Hollywood. In this heartbreaking movie, he tries to be a good father, while managing his illegal underground business. This movie is interesting in the sense that everything that can go wrong in the life of a person does, giving you the deepest feeling of sadness a movie can possibly give you. The movie is good, but oh just so sad. So if you want to watch a movie about comedy and laughter, don't watch this movie. Watch this movie if you really want to feel thankful for the life you have, and the problems you don't have.

5.  Let the Right One In - (Swedish version) Amazing cinematography. Amazing acting by the children. Amazing dialogue. This movie manages to pull you into the movie so well, something I think the American version of this movie failed to do. This movie is about a romance between a bullied boy and a vampire girl. The vampire only has the physical appearance of a girl, in reality she is centuries old. This movie is kind of eerie, but there is something cute and magical about it.

6. The Last Train - (Mostly in German) This movie is totally terrifying. Why? Because it depicts with intense realism, what the last Jews of Germany went thought as they were deported to the concentration camp of Auchswitz. Just imagine being put into tiny train cart along with tons of other people, with no food or water. This movie tells it like it is. It is scary,claustrophobic, and cruel. Amazing actors play out the parts flawlessly.  In my opinion, one of the best depictions of suffering of the Jews and brutality of Nazi SS in a movie.

7. Sophie Schol: The Finals Days - (German) Sophie Scholl can be compared with Oskar Schindler in my opinion. Though she did not manage to save thousands of Jews like Schindler did, she fought against the Germans in her own peaceful way: by distributing pamphlets at her university and having a resistance group called the White Rose. She got caught and executed along with her brother. This movie depicts the interrogations and the trial. It also shows the very humane aspect of her personality. We can see Scholl as being a Christian with compassion, integrity and intelligence. I love this movie because of that, and how the Germans did not hesitate to kill one of their "kind" if they decided to break the rules.

8. Bliss - (Turkish) This movie depicts the cruelty to which women are subject to because of ancient believes. Women are thought of as sub-human beings, not worthy of any respect, and the shocking thing about this movie is that it happens today. In Turkey, a 17-year-old girl is raped, and because she is "tainted" and has "sinned" now she must be killed. So this man is given the easy task killing the girl, but he cannot bring himself to do it. And so they go on a journey trying to hide so her family won't find them. Along the way they find a kind but lonely professor who without question will help them out in their journey to freedom.

9. The Stoning Of Soraya M. - (Persian/English) This movie is a drama with 1986 Iran as setting. A man falsely accuses his wife of being unfaithful and punishment for that is death by stoning, according to their tradition. This movie is "based on a true story" which makes it even more real and sad. It is very graphic. This movie is very, very good. And it angered me, as well as scared me, and moved me to tears. To think that it still happens today in many parts of the world makes this movie a good educative tool, specially for women. It opens a sad reality that many countries are part of where abuse to women is justified and accepted.

10. Cast Away on The Moon - (Korean) A romantic comedy. This movie is really not your classic "cast away" type of movie. Attempting to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge into a river, a man fails and ends up stranded on an island in plain sight. He learns to survive in the "wild." This girl who's addicted to "Cyworld" and has not left her room in three years, discovers this man while taking pictures of the moon. They start exchanging messages, her by leaving her house at night and throwing bottles into the river, and him by writing messages onto the sand. This movie is funny, cute, and different in so many levels, it's totally worth watching.