11 great foreign films I bet you haven't seen yet

Films across the globe tell us a lot about life in different parts of the world. They offer us an insight into the life and thought of people, who are in some ways similar to us and in other ways different. While most of you must have seen Life is Beautiful, Amelie, Oldboy and other more popular foreign films there are still hundreds of films we haven't seen that deserve our attention. We present to you 11 such beautiful films that you may haven't seen yet, but really should.

Postmen in the Mountains (1999) 

Shot in the picturesque locations of Hunan province this Chinese film meditates and ponders over the life and functions of a postman who has served people for decades and has now decided to hand over his work to his son. The son is reluctant to take up the job as it is painstaking and has no reward. While the father and son embark upon a final journey together that takes days through the treacherous terrain, the son comes to appreciate his father's profession, which needs patience, resolve and love for the fellow people. The film tells us that sometimes simple joys of life can transcend most materialistic gains in the world and the secret to satisfaction is to serve.

The Way Home (2002)

After a young boy's mother loses her job she leaves him to his mute grandmother. The city-born Sang-woo though has little regard for his grandmother and considers her a freak as she's very old and looks ugly. The grandmother is poor and toils hard throughout the day to carry water to her hilltop house and sells vegetables in the city for livelihood. The film beautifully contrasts the simplicity and compassion of rural people to the shallowness of city dwellers. The grandmother's unconditional love eventually wins over her difficult grandson and when the day comes for Sang-woo to return back he's unable to hide his love for his grandmother, realizing he might not even see her again.

Divided We Fall (2000)

Divided We Fall is a Czech film about Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia where a husband and wife named Joseph and Marie try to hide a Jew friend in their house, who has run away from a concentration camp. While they cannot let their friend fall prey to the hands of German soldiers they are also afraid of being caught and killed for the same. They are most afraid of a so-called friend named, Horst, who is a Nazi collaborator and has his eyes on Marie. To get rid of Horst, Joseph tells him that Marie is pregnant though he suffers from infertility. Joseph requests his Jew friend to sleep with his wife in his own house. The film concludes with war coming to an end and Marie giving birth to a child and Joseph's Jew friend saving him as well as Horst, who are accused of being Nazi collaborators. The film takes a humorous dig at war as to how it evokes fear and evil in people and changes them during war time.

The Bird People in China (1998) 

A Japanese salaryman, Wada travels to interiors of China on behalf of his company to strike a deal with local village men for a jade vein (precious stones). On reaching China, Wada realizes the he will be accompanied by Ujiie, who is a member of  yakuza that wants to rake in the profits made by Wada's company from the deal. However, as the journey ensues, it changes the objectives of the two men who are intrigued by a group of people rumored to have the power to fly. The film portrays the inner conflicts of the two characters and is shot amidst the breathtaking Chinese landscape.

Udaan (2010)

When a 16 year old Rohan is expelled from his school for watching porn, he doesn't realize he has a tougher trail ahead. Returning home to his widowed father he comes to know about his half-brother, Arjun who is just 6 years old. Rohan has to face the bullying of his abusive father who  runs a steel factory. The soft-spoken Rohan is unable to show resentment to his stern father due to fear, however, eventually he manages to gather courage to speak up to him. When the father decides to remarry again and send 6-year old Arjun to a boarding school, Rohan decides to take Arjun with him leaving his home forever. The film is about Rohan's metamorphosis from an innocent 16-year old to an individual who eventually overcomes the fear of his father and takes a quantum leap to freedom.

Late Marriage (2001)

Late Marriage is an Israeli film that centers around Zaza, a 31 year old pursuing his PhD. His parents are desperate to marry him and are on the scout for the same. The film starts at a would-be match's house, a girl not only beautiful but much younger than Zaza. He looks  uninterested in the whole ceremony, the reason for which we come to know later as he is involved with a 34-year old Judith, who is not only beautiful but also a divorcee with a daughter. Judith loves him but knows his parents would never agree for the same. What ensues is a violent confrontation between Judith and Zaza'a family. Late Marriage is funny and heartbreaking at the same time. It's a story about constant conflict between love and limiting traditions that cannot be surpassed.

5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)

5 Centimeters Per Second is an animation film from Japan that takes you through the life of Takaki Toono as a boy, adolescent and a young man. The film explores the intimacy and friendship between Takaki and his schoolmate Akari, their moving away from each other and longing for each other's company and Takaki's aching grief and helplessness to be one with her again. One of the most visually brilliant animations ever made, 5 centimeters Per Second has a poetic touch and lingers on every moment rather than dazzling you with anime overdose (which is more of an American style). The film ponders over the transient nature of life and how we cannot hold on to the most beautiful moments of our life no matter how hard we try.

Still Walking (2008) 

A story about a Japanese family that unites once in a year to commemorate the death of the eldest son, who drowned while trying to save another boy. While the mother enthusiastically does preparations for her visiting son, daughter and their families, she still misses her dead son and longs for him. The father and son have a dysfunctional relationship and one can feel the tension between the two, while the daughter wants to move in with her parents. The film gives us insight into each of its characters, their flaws, and their bonding, despite of some tension among them. Still Walking will not dazzle but rather surprise you with its sincere and simple approach to its character study and contemplation on life.

Samsara (2001)

Samsara is a film about Tashi, a young monk who has recently come to monastery after years of meditation in a secluded place. However, as youth dawns on Tashi, he is attracted towards the world and wants to search for truth by living in it. Tashi argues that if samsara is nirvana (there is an old Buddhist saying "Samsara (world) is enlightenment and enlightenment is world") then it must be explored by being part of the world itself. However, it is his desire for a village girl, Pema that makes him abandon a monk's life. Tashi is married, has a child, and has a beautiful relationship with his wife, but influenced by lust he end's up having sex with his female servant. When Pema catches him in action, Tashi is ashamed and he realizes that it was the same desire that made him abandon the life of a monk. Shot in the breathtaking landscape of Ladakh, Samsara is a treat to senses and offers an insight into the fickle nature of mind.

The Eel (1997) 

Yamashita is a white-collared simpleton, who has a beautiful, affectionate wife. He has a passion for fishing and often often goes out at night for the same. One of these days he finds a note that hints at his wife's infidelity. Yamashita grows curious and returns early to find out the truth for himself. Ravaged on finding his wife with someone else on his bed he kills them both. Yamashita feels the guilt of murdering his wife and befriends an eel with whom he shares his emotions. It is difficult for him to return to normal life but the twists and turns of life re-initiate him.

Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (2001)

A middle-aged man is forced to rethink about his life after he loses his job as an architect and his wife files for divorce along with children's custody. Yosuke, the film's protagonist travels to a small fishing village where he starts working as a fisherman. An old man tells him about a house in the village where some secret treasure is buried. However, he soon realizes the old man's metaphor and gets involved romantically with the young woman in the house. The film explores how libido can rejuvenate life and man's eternal want for it.

5 awesome movies about pre-teen love

If you're an adult now you may often remember your awesome days as an early teenager and how you perceived the world and enjoyed life at that stage. For many of us love dawns to our lives much earlier than the others. Many of you might even remember your first crush, that girl or boy you just looked at and said wow! But let's be frank love hurts, but then it also elevates. We have tried to compile a list of some out-of-the-box, honest pre-teen films that focus on the romance and love at this tender age.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) 

I have great regards for Wes Anderson as he truly is a genius in his own niche. Anderson loves vibrant colors and most of his films are based on teenagers. Moonrise Kingdom is a love story about Sam and Suzy, who are strange, beautiful, confused and are not happy in their respective homes. It is a love at first sight when Sam straight away asks Suzy " .. and what kind of bird are you?", who is playing as raven on the stage. They eventually decide to run away together seeking refuge on the other shore of the island they live in. Both develop a liking for each other while understanding the frustrations of their current life situations (Sam is orphan while Suzy's parents are on the verge of a divorce). Jared Gilman (Sam) and Kara Hayward (Suzy) have rendered life to their characters on-screen and their chemistry just strikes magic.

Submarine (2010)

Just like a submarine takes you deep down into the remote, lonely ocean, this film is an exploration into the life of Oliver Tate, who meets Jordana by accident and both strike a bond together. The two characters are totally opposite with Oliver being an introvert, self-indulgent youngster and Jordana being a beautiful girl, who is angry and likes to bully others. Oliver, though struggles to keep his promise to be the best boyfriend in the world, while fighting with his own fears and dealing with problems in his own family. He realizes his love for Jordana and is heartbroken in the end.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an oddly named beautifully acted film that is based on a novel by Stephen Chbosky, who surprisingly is also the director of the film. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about Charlie a handsome, smart loner, who is suffering from nervous disorders after his best friend's death. He's into the freshman year of the school and has no friends. He somehow befriends two seniors Emma and Patrick. Charlie slowly falls for Emma, but is unable to express his feelings for her. Both of them struggle to come together as they hop from one relationship to another. Both of them confront each other in the end and confess their true feeling for each other. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a poignant love affair that
makes you remember friendship, love and longing.

Little Manhattan (2005)

"O God!Why did I fall in love?", the truth seems to have transcended early to the 11 years old Gabe, who is also the protagonist of the film. Gabe gets infatuated towards Rosemary in his karate classes and madly falls in love with her in their following meetings. The film beautifully captures the torment and beauty of this one side love from Gabe, who eventually comes to terms with the truth and manages to save the falling apart marriage of his parents.

Baran (2001)

Among all human emotions love is supreme-most because it transforms its recipient. This film from Iran by Majid Majidi, who has always shown us the innocent, truthful side of life in Iran (which is quite contrary to our perception about middle-east) is about hot-headed Lateef, who works at the construction site. Lateef is replaced by Rahmat, a girl disguised as boy and Lateef in spite tries to hurt him. Lateef soon realizes that Rehmat in in fact a girl and feels pity for her. The girl's father is unable to work due an accident and the girl hopelessly switches from one job to another (from lifting stones to serving tea) to make the ends meet. Lateef, who by now has fallen in love with her decides to give his entire savings to her but fate has something else in store for him. Baran, is a true heartfelt love story that reveals the profound ways of Majidi's storytelling.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da) (2011)

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan starts with three men getting drunk together with their voices muted and the viewer guessing the nature of their conversation, only to be followed by a scene with three cars lighting up the desolate steppes of Anatolia, criss-crossing through the roads. This time you see a couple of cops with another hand-cuffed character, the one who was in initial shot but you’re unable to recognize him given the dark. There’s a prosecutor, who is in charge of the investigation, a cop, a doctor, gendarmerie forces, grave diggers, a driver and two suspects, who are also brothers.

                                                         Image Credit: Memento Films

While the commissioner Naci takes the suspect Kenan from one location to another to determine the place where he and his brother buried the victim, Yasar after killing him, the rest of the cast including the doctor, driver and prosecutor reflect on the times. Given the dark and his drinking Kenan is unable to locate where he had buried the victim, while the prosecutor unravels to the doctor a peculiar case in which a beautiful woman predicts her death five months in advance and dies after giving birth to a child.

Frustrated and riddled by the search, the team decides to visit a nearby town. They are treated well at the mayor’s house where his beautiful daughter gets everyone’s attention. The girl evokes different emotions in the characters while they are stupefied by her beauty. The doctor tries to get more details from prosecutor about the woman he was talking about as he gets suspicious about obscure nature of her death. The prosecutor tells that it was heart attack and doctor points that there are certain drugs that can actually trigger it. The prosecutor in the end confesses to the doctor that it was no one else but his own wife who found him with another woman and lingers as to how she killed herself to punish him for the rest of his life. At this point Kenan breaks down and tells that the victim’s son is actually his biological son and that he killed Yasar after a fight that ensued after the truth slipped off his tongue.

The following day they continue their search. Kenan is in his senses and is able to tell the exact location. The body of victim is not covered entirely with a part of his head out of the grave. There’s a dog sitting on top his grave who has possibly tried to dig his grave. It is difficult to tell if it is the same dog that victim feeds in the initial shot. They find the victim completely tied up to which Kenan reasons that they did so in order to fit him in the car. The prosecutor makes his report and the corpse is handed over to the doctor to carry out the autopsy.

                                                          Image Credit: Memento Films

While doing autopsy the doctor finds out that there is dirt in his lungs pointing to the fact that he was buried alive, perhaps the reason why he was tied up so badly. While the truth eludes the prosecutor as well as the commissioner, the doctor decides to hide the fact in the report glancing from his window at the son and the widowed wife of the victim walking down the steppe.

The film comprises of long shots and takes time to get into the nature of its characters. While Naci is a worn out police officer troubled by condition of his son, who has some ailment, doctor Cemal is divorced and reflective, the prosecutor Nusret is self-confident and guilty (for causing his wife’s death unconsciously), while the driver is only worried about making money from the whole affair. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia lingers on a number of themes, one being the problems the young ones have to face as a result of sins committed by elders and another being how women become the reason for people committing heinous crimes. The movie demands patience as well as attention from its viewers, something that would help them to better understand the characters. The film won Jury Grand Prize at the Cannes.