Foreign Films

Written by Serena Berger
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Foreign films send some people running for the hills, and others hurrying to the small movie houses and video stores. Perhaps neither of these is categorically a fair reaction. Much like American movies, some foreign films are wonderful and others are only fair; but if you are one of those people who categorically run for the hills at the mention of foreign films, you really ought to reconsider.

Foreign Films in International Festivals

If you are lucky enough to live in or near a city where a major film festival is held, you are likely to be given the opportunity to view foreign movies which are pre-screened to include only the best. You may also want to pay attention around Oscar time, when other countries submit what they feel are their best films for consideration from the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. If you read about the nominations around Oscar time, you are likely to find out about films from other countries that will be quite impressive.

Some foreign films are released in America with subtitles, which means a translation is printed across the bottom of the screen as the movie plays. Others are released with English overdubbing, which means that English-speaking actors have performed the dialogue and that has been dubbed over the movie. Some people who are intimidated by or dislike subtitles find that they are comfortable with overdubbing, and vice versa.

Some foreign films deal with stories similar to what you would see in America. There are action movies, romances, family dramas, crime dramas, and comedies from nations all over the world. Other foreign movies deal with issues particular to the history and culture of their country, and can be a great way to gain insight and understanding of societies which otherwise seem alien to us.


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