In celebration of Melbourne’s International Film Festival, which wraps up on August 18, here is a sneak peek at some of the most underrated foreign films that deserve to be placed high up on your watchlist:
- Amelie (2001) – One of the best examples of French cinema, this all-time classic flick can put anyone in good spirits with its quirky storyline. The film follows one lonely woman’s hilarious journey to help untangle the lives of others and, in the process of doing so, her own life becomes a little less messy.
Genre: Romantic comedy
2. Colonia (2016) – A chilling yet insightful tale about Colonia Dignidad, the notorious ex-Nazi torture camp in Chile, and one woman’s efforts to rescue a tormented prisoner from there. There’s something spine tingling about this film and it’s not just the brilliant performances by lead actors Emma Watson and Daniel Brϋhl, it’s the fact that this camp where extreme atrocities against human kind were committed, actually existed.
Genre: Thriller with a touch of romance
3. The Breadwinner (2017) – Based in the year 2001 when Afghanistan is under the Taliban’s rule, a young girl’s father has been wrongfully imprisoned and she must take his place in becoming the provider for her family. This film is beautifully animated and demonstrates extreme attention to detail while exploring the topic of gender inequality in the third world country.
4. Breathless (1960) – The simple storyline of a reckless small-time thief and his efforts to persuade his American lover to flee to Italy with him. The youthful yet witty dialogue, the camera angles and the jump cuts are what truly make this a standout film.
Genre: Drama, comedy, romance, film noir
5. Persepolis (2007) – With the backdrop of the Iranian revolution, this coming-of-age film follows the transformative journey of a naïve girl as she starts to realise the truth about where she is from. Based on a graphic novel of the same name, this French–Iranian animated film is a must watch and even won the jury prize when it premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2007.