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Foreign Films as Windows to the World

One of the first pieces of advice Boston College students hear upon entering campus is to not get stuck in the bubble. Between studying for exams, organizing club meetings, and making time for friends, it is easy to get sucked into a routine that does not extend beyond the confines of campus.

However, you don’t always have to venture miles outside of BC to experience a little bit of worldly culture. Expand your mind and treat your imagination by watching a foreign film (or two).

  1. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

This is not your typical Hollywood horror vampire flick. Directed by Iranian filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a surreal black-and-white Iranian Vampire Western (how many movies can you name that fall under that genre?). The film revolves around a lonely vampire who lurks around town on her skateboard, preying on men who disrespect women. Subtle influences of Sergio Leone, David Lynch, and the Iranian New Wave blend to make this original film a standout.

  1. Amores Perros

Before he became known for The Revenant, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu directed Amores Perros, his first feature film. It’s an intensely gritty movie that connects the lives of three different protagonists after a brutal car accident in Mexico City. Inarritu doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of loss, love, and regret that his characters face; rather, he engages the audience’s attention through his raw and authentic storytelling.

  1. In the Mood for Love

Praised for its visual decadence and stunning score, In the Mood for Love is an aesthetic masterpiece that captures courtship in its most subtle and fleeting moments. Set in 1962 Hong Kong, the film centers around the quiet encounters between new neighbors who move into their respective apartments on the same day. The film observes the in-between moments that usually slip away in the flashy mainstream movie romances. If for nothing else, the film is worth watching for its dreamy aesthetics and soothing soundtrack.

  1. PlayTime

Although this is a silent film, it is anything but quiet. Directed by Jacques Tati, PlayTime comedically navigates the gizmo-filled world of Paris through the escapades of Monsieur Hulot. Not a single word is uttered in the film, but its precise choreography and clever production sustain the audience’s attention for the full two hours. Jovial, quirky, and inventive, this film will whisk you away into its astutely depicted version of the modern world.

  1. Mustang

This vivacious portrayal of female empowerment depicts five sisters growing up in a conservative Turkish village. Turkish-French director, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, conducts a cinematic symphony of sisterhood, desire, and rebellion. In this coming-of-age story, the grandmother prepares the girls one by one for marriage. The girls spend their days lounging inside the gated house, unable to go outside, and learn how to cook, clean, and sew. The characters’ spunky personalities and spot-on portrayal of siblinghood enliven this timeless tale.

Tip: For access to these films and more, go to bc.kanopystreaming.com and log in with your Agora username and password.

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