Six Modern Masterpieces of Foreign Cinema

by Akhil Kalepu

Jul 8, 2016

© Sir Mildred Pierce | Flickr

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Digital filmmaking and Netflix have made foreign cinema accessible to everyone around the world. While you’ve heard about countless classics from overseas, here are six modern masterpieces that will please the cinephile in all of us.



Cinema Paradiso, Italy, 1988

Winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1989, Cinema Paradiso is a much beloved Italian drama about a boy and his passion for movies.



Oldboy, South Korea, 2003

Park Chan-wook brings Greek tragedy to Korean neo-noir with Oldboy, a mystery thiller that follows a man on a quest to find the man and tmotivation which imprisoned him for 15 years. The 2004 Cannes director awarded it the Grand Prix.



Blue Is the Warmest Colour, France, 2013

Abdellatif Kechiche’s coming-of-age film explores themes of social class and sexual identity by following the relationship of a young lesbian couple. The film unanimously won Cannes’ Palme d’Or in 2013.



Lagaan, India, 2001

If you like sports films, be sure to watch Lagaan, a modern Bollywood classic about a cricket match held between the British Raj and a small village in India.



Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Germany, 1972

This West German film tells the story of Spanish conquistador Lope de Aguirre and his search for El Dorado. While it was a commercial failure in its home country, the film became a cult hit overseas.



City of God, Brazil, 2002

Loosely based on real events, City of God is a good movie to watch with the upcoming Summer Olympics, offering a glimpse of the city’s darker underbelly. The film follows rival gangs that live in the film’s namesake neighborhood of Rio.


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