Tag Archives: foreign films

Çalıkuşu…

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Main characters from the show

Çalıkuşu means wren or lovebird and is the name of the silly Turkish drama based on a novel I cannot get enough of this last while. There is only one season (but more than 70 episodes within it!) and I am not half way through yet. I know the show gets cancelled so will leave me hanging in the end but am still enjoying watching it. I love Istanbul and, though this is 1920s Istanbul, its neat to watch.

Anytime I am cooking or folding laundry lately, this show is on although it will probably take all summer to watch since each episode is super long. If you like foreign historical dramas with some romance and family politics in them, then this series is for you! Enjoy!

Foreign film overload…

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blackgoldFor some reason over the last while all I have wanted to watch is foreign films! Most I find randomly on Netflix and others I sought out. I love how so many of them are different than the nonsense we get in most mainstreams theaters or offer a new perspective. Here is what I have watched in the last while (some good and some okay but all entertaining):

From Korea: Venus Talk which is about a few female friends going through various issues in their lives from younger boyfriends, to grown up daughters not wanting to move out, to cheating spouses begging for a second chance.

La-source-des-femmes-posterFrom France:

  • A Promise-This one is about a married German woman who falls in love with her husband’s employee. War then separates then for several years.
  • Black Gold/Day of the Falcon-This movie is wonderful visually and has a few famous actors (that are not Middle Eastern but play Middle Eastern characters!). It involves the clash of various tribes/people in the Middle East during the oil boom.
  • A Grand Affair-This movie is about a emotional affair between a married Swiss woman and a Jewish government official before the start of WW2.
  • The Source-This movie is about women in a north African village who conduct a “love strike” in order to get their way. Funny at times but touching on various issues.

huagnshiFrom the Czech Republic-Želary– This film takes place during the Nazi occupation of the country in World War 2 and is about a female resistance worker/nurse who must flee the city when she is discovered. She moves to a village and has to marry a man to whom she had donated blood earlier. She hates the village life…at first.

From China- The Children of Huang Shi-This movie is a moving one based on the true story of a British journalist and Australian nurse who saved orphans during the Japanese invasion of China. Loved it.

palmtressinthesnowFrom Canada-Sabah-Not totally a foreign film but we can say non-mainstream. This movie is about a Syrian immigrant woman living in Canada who falls in love with a Canadian man. They begin a secret affair and then her family finds out… 🙂

UK-The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel-Again not really a foreign film but I loved the first one and even wrote about it in this post! The second one had less substance and was okay. I mention it only because the first one was such a delight.

From Spain-Palm Tress in the Snow-Takes place mostly in Guinea on a cacao plantation while still under Spanish control. It involves two interconnected families and I totally enjoyed this film.

Georgian films…

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I like to watch foreign films. It always feels like an inside look into the society. Because my husband is Georgian, I occasionally try to find films to watch from his country. The film industry in Georgia is quite small and Georgians often watch Russian language films (or dubbed Indian, American, Mexican etc ones which are probably cheaper than making new ones).

Despite this, I have found a few online that I have managed to watch. Generally, Georgian films tend to be quite grim and deal with depressing or serious topics. The ones I have watched tend to take place during rougher times as well. Anyway, for anyone who is trying to find such films, I can share with you what I have found thus far and a few of my thoughts as well:

Gaigimet or Keep Smiling in English. I really enjoyed this film. It is about a group of women in the capital city, Tbilisi, who join a televised contest for a variety of reasons. It explores some serious issues in the society (and unrealistic stereotypes) while being amusing.

The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear-This film is a documentary and, like I said, a bit grim. Georgia has been changing a lot (in some areas more than others) but a lot of this can still be felt.

Grdzeli nateli dgeebi  or In Bloom in English. This story is about two young women who were growing up during a tough time in the 90s. I enjoyed the film despite the fact that no one can ever be happy in any Georgian films.

The Loneliest Planet. -This is not a Georgian film but takes place in Georgia. It is about a couple who go hiking in the country and then have something happen that changes everything. A very slow and subtle film but nice to watch if you are interested in the country.

Five Days of War or Five Days in August. This film is about the Russo-Georgian war of 2008. It is an American style movie but Finnish made. It is very pro-Georgian and there are many rumours the then government pushed its creation along and may have funded it. This is, or course, denied by the then president. The end shows a variety of people who give testimonials about those they lost in the war.

There you have it. A sample of films (there are heaps more if you are interested) to watch from a place most people have not heard of or thought of. As I said, they tend to be a bit dark but this is not necessarily representative of the entire country. It is a peek into a society though-one that has had a rough and tough past.