Bring the World to Your Screen | Five Global Films

Travel the world through these film gems from the past several years; each is likely to reward viewers with new discoveries and appreciation.

Zipping out to the nearby art house theater to catch an attractive foreign film may not be included in our schedules right now, but many available streaming platforms offer endless rewarding foreign film entertainment options. Travel the world through these film gems from the past several years; each is likely to reward the viewer with new discoveries and appreciation.

Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

In German with English subtitles. Directed by Wolfgang Becker, a BAFTA winner and César award nominee, this affectionate, satirical look at nostalgia is a story of what develops after a loyal socialist German woman, Kristiane, is in a coma, recovering from an illness, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In order to minimize the shock following Kristiane’s month-long coma, her doctor advises a return to normalcy. So her adult children lovingly dupe her into thinking that nothing has changed. This develops into not only an elaborate, yet loving scam, it also leads to family reunification. Experience this film on Netflix, GooglePlay, or YouTube.

Live and Become (2005)

In Hebrew, French, and Amharic with English subtitles. This Israeli-French film, a César winner directed by Radu Mihaileanu, presents the riveting tale of a starving Ethiopian Christian boy, age six, who passes himself off as an Ethiopian Jew in 1985 in order to gain entry to Israel, which he hopes will lead to a peaceful life. Although he is adopted by a kind, loving family, his secret continually leads to turbulence, turmoil, and strife before he can find an identity and contentment of his own. Enjoy this on Netflix, AppleTV, or Kanopy.

Le Havre (2011)

In French with English subtitles. Aki Kaurismäki’s sweet, sad film introduces viewers to Marcel, a once famous Paris bohemian writer who has relocated to the French harbor city of Le Havre. Marcel is struggling to make a living for himself and his wife. He shines shoes, often accompanied by Laika, his dog. His wife, Arletty, is seriously ill and is hospitalized. Marcel becomes aware of human cargo at the port: Idrissa, a young Gabonese refugee. What follows is a mordant, optimistic view of camaraderie. Delight in this film on Kanopy, YouTube, Vudu, or Netflix.

Like Father, Like Son (2013)

In Japanese with English subtitles. This drama won the Jury prize at Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, it focuses on a successful Tokyo architect, his wife, and child. Imagine their surprise when they learn that their son was switched at birth with another child from a small-town family. Both sets of parents meet, then spend time together, preparing for the future. This expertly constructed and introspective study of nurture vs. nature is unforgettable. View on Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu.

Le Fils de Jean/A Kid (2016)

In French with English subtitles. Philippe Lioret’s film features Mathieu, a young, divorced man from Paris, who never knew his father. An old friend of his father’s from Canada contacts him, explaining that Mathieu’s father has died and Mathieu has two half-brothers. Deciding to fly to Montreal for the funeral and becoming acquainted with the friend and the brothers leads to some remarkable, endearing surprises. A César winner. Explore on Vimeo, YouTube, Amazon, and Kanopy.

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