Something which many English speakers are guilty of is not being aware of other cultures in terms of enjoying what they produce artistically, yet they are excellent at consuming what we are creating from music to film. Of course there are some which break through the divide, cult classics like Amelie for example, which many people have seen. I have been more aware of this in recent years since I moved to Mexico and started to learn Spanish, using movies and TV shows as a great way to learn more vocabulary and understand the language better.
There are so many reasons why I love watching foreign language movies and here is why I think more people should do too.
The only movie which I saw without subtitles was Roma, I saw this the very first week that it was released, ironically in a French cinema, and my buddy Javier Burillo convinced me that it was a good idea to go, even if I didn’t understand everything. As it happened there isn’t a lot of heavy dialogue in the movie which really helped. The point I want to make here is that even with subtitles, you generally feel yourself more absorbed in the cinematography of it all, which is actually something which you don’t really expect. I would have thought that I’d be hyper focused on the words at the bottom of the screen but your mind actually absorbs them very quickly and you do give much more attention to what is happening.
Some cultures just do certain genres better than others, and when you begin to watch foreign language movies you really open up to new styles and new themes. I watched a very powerful movie called Force Majeure, which I believe is Swedish, and the way in which the movie played with silence was absolutely amazing, evoking all kinds of wonderful feelings. I have since watched more Scandinavian movies and they are similar in terms of the way that they let the movie breathe rather than filling it with dialogue. If you think about it, the Brits are amazing at slapstick comedy, the Americans have a wonderful way of creating these epic movies and cultures throughout the world have their specialties as well, watching foreign language movies will allow you to see the best of them.
I think that watching movies in other languages can increase our acceptance of different races and cultures, something which is needed now more than ever. People are scared of what they do not understand and that is why you see these ridiculous videos of foolish people getting annoyed when someone is speaking another language. If we educate kids using foreign language movies then they are going to grow up to be far more aware and accepting of different languages and cultures.
There are many foreign movies on Netflix and other streaming services, why not give a couple a go?
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