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12 Best Foreign Movies Of All Time That Will Expand Your Worldview

12 Best Foreign Movies Of All Time That Will Expand Your Worldview

Foreign movies are one film genre that is frequently misunderstood. Not all foreign movies are boring or slow-paced, and many offer eye-opening insights and views on the world. Where a film comes from has a huge effect on the piece an audience ultimately sees, for reasons ranging from culture to rating laws. To truly enjoy the wide variety of films that’s out there, you can’t forget to experience the most impressive foreign films. The following foreign movies are truly inspiring, and will expand the way you approach the world.

1. Life Is Beautiful, Italy (1997): Make The Most Of Life

foreign movie

    Life Is Beautiful is an Italian film taking place during the Holocaust. The movie follows a father in his quest to shield the horrors of their reality from his young son. A truly moving look at a very serious time in history, this tearjerker will have anyone viewing the world in a more gracious way.

    2. The Lives of Others, Germany (2006): Individuals Have Power

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      This moving film takes place in post-World War II Germany, when the country was split into East and West. After the state police bug the apartment of a prominent artist, the officer surveying the artist is drawn into his life. An exciting and poignant foreign movie, this film explores the importance of taking action.

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      3. Let The Right One In, Sweden (2008): Be Kinder

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        This Swedish language film follows a young boy cast aside by his peers. The boy meets his first friend in a young girl with the gruesome secret. Artfully shot, this thriller film is a new twist on themes exploring the consequence of our actions.

        4. Pans Labyrinth, Spain (2006): Never Stop Exploring

        pan039s-labyrinth-poster-artwork-maribel-verduacute-ivana-baquero-sergi-loacutepez

          This Spanish film was an instant classic upon release. Pan’s Labyrinth shows a young girl struggle to accept her reality when the family moves in with a new step-father. As the girl stumbles upon a magical world, this film challenges viewers to live a richer life.

          5. Intouchables, France (2011): Consider The Other Side

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            This foreign film is set in Paris, as a quadriplegic aristocrat seeks to hire a new assistant. An unusual meeting with a disrespectful freeloader leads the millionaire to test the student. As the troublesome addition changes their lives, viewers are challenged to look at their own contributions to the world.

            6. Delicatessen, France (1991): Death Is Inevitable

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              This film is a quirky and dark look at a post-apocalyptic French society. In a world where food is scarce enough to be used as currency, a twisted butcher provides meat to citizens nearby. Delicatessen is not only noteworthy for it’s exploration of life and death, it is directed by celebrated French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Juenet – the director who brought us Amelie. 

              7. The Bicycle Thief, Italy (1948): Empathy Is Crucial

              the-bicycle-thief-movie-poster-1949-1020503553

                For the more intellectual filmgoer, The Bicycle Thief is an enduring comment on winner-take-all mentality. Made in post-World War II Italy, this film follows a father and son as their only bicycle is stolen. Unable to work, this father must find a way to provide for his son. A direct comment on overly valuing competition in society, this film has each of us thinking of a better way to do things.

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                8. Man On Wire, France (2008): Anything Is Possible

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                  A moving documentary about Phillip Petit, Man On Wire examines the famous tightrope walker’s desire to tightrope walk between the twin towers in New York. Technically illegal, the film follows Phillip and his team in the 80‘s as they struggle to achieve this dream. Man On Wire is an inspiring foreign movie, encouraging audience members to pursue their passion.

                  9. A Prophet, France (2009): Desperation Is Powerful

                  a-prophet-poster

                    This quickly paced French film follows a barely-legal Arab young man as he first enters the harsh world of adult prison. He is torn between gangs, eventually forced to serve the Mafia. Too young to stand up for himself, the man doesn’t know what else to do but cooperate. An exciting crime film, A Prophet examines the massive effects of a few simple wrong turns.

                    10. Nobody Knows, Japan (2005): Human Rights Matter

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                      This touching Japanese film follows unkempt single mother Keiko. When Keiko leaves with her new boyfriend indefinitely, the kids are forced to survive on their own, all while staying away from authorities who may split them up. A heart breaking look at poverty, Nobody Knows certainly effects an audiences outlook on the way we treat others.

                      11. Breathless, France (1960): Carpe Diem

                      À bout de souffle (1960) UK poster

                        No list on impactful foreign films is complete without the quintessential French film, Breathless. A classic foreign film, this movie follows an impulsive criminal who can’t stop pursuing his love interest despite police closing in on him. The film exudes French joi de vivre, and this complicated tale will have anyone more thirsty for life.

                        12. The Wave, Germany (2008): Think Before You Act

                        the wave film

                          A thoughtful and well done German film, The Wave introduces audiences to a high school teacher whose methods are out of the box. In an effort to teach his students about WWII, this teacher forms a social unit with his class that soon shows terrifying signs of control and corruption. A truly compelling look at Hitler’s rise to power, The Wave makes several points that will have each viewer examining their own lives.

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                          Alicia Prince

                          A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                          Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                            Why You Need a Vision

                            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                            How to Create Your Life Vision

                            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                            What Do You Want?

                            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                            Some tips to guide you:

                            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                            • Give yourself permission to dream.
                            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                            Some questions to start your exploration:

                            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                            • What qualities would you like to develop?
                            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                            • What would you most like to accomplish?
                            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                            A few prompts to get you started:

                            • What will you have accomplished already?
                            • How will you feel about yourself?
                            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                            • What does your ideal day look like?
                            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                            • What would you be doing?
                            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                            • How are you dressed?
                            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                            Plan Backwards

                            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                            • What important actions would you have had to take?
                            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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