40 Gems of World Cinema

A Listmania! list by Ronald Scheer "rockysquirrel" (Los Angeles)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "Listed here are films of the past few years from France, Italy, Belgium, Argentina, Russia, Chile, Turkey, Denmark, Slovenia, Germany, Lebanon, Spain, China, Australia, Norway, the Netherlands, Macedonia, England, Ireland, and Scotland. They range from serious, to disturbing, exciting, chilling, and funny. Most are in a language other than English, and not one of them comes from Hollywood."
A Fond Kiss
1.  A Fond Kiss DVD ~ Atta Yaqub
The list author says:
  "British director Ken Loach illuminates the real-world complications in a romantic story set in Glasgow, about star-crossed lovers, a young Irish music teacher in a Catholic school and  the only son of a tightly knit Pakistani family."
$8.37   Used & New from: $0.52
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

Sweet Sixteen
2.  Sweet Sixteen DVD ~ Martin Compston
The list author says:
  "Also by Ken Loach, and set in a town outside Glasgow, this film tells a sometimes heart-stopping and finally heart-rending story of a 15-year-old boy's attempt to create an orderly life out of the chaotic one he's inherited."
$5.00   Used & New from: $0.22
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

My Son the Fanatic [VHS]
3.  My Son the Fanatic [VHS] VHS Om Puri
The list author says:
  "This thoughtful film from writer Hanif Kareishi tells a complex story of a Pakistani taxi-driver in a northern British city, whose settled life comes apart as his only son rebels against his father's secular life and takes up with a cell of young Muslim fundamentalists."
$3.95   Used & New from: $0.66
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles
4.  Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles DVD ~ Ken Takakura
The list author says:
  "Set in modern-day China, this is a kind of road movie, in which a Japanese man (Ken Takakura) takes a long journey to recover a lost relationship with his dying son."
$8.02   Used & New from: $2.50
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

The Flower of My Secret
5.  The Flower of My Secret DVD ~ Marisa Paredes
The list author says:
  "This film by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar is set in Madrid and portrays another of his women on the verge of a nervous breakdown - several, in fact - and follows them through a series of life crises to a happily bittersweet ending."
$12.82   Used & New from: $2.49
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Secrets of the Heart
6.  Secrets of the Heart DVD ~  Charo López Carmelo Gómez
The list author says:
  "This Spanish film, set in the 1960s, tells a story about a 9-year-old's slow discovery of the mysteries of adulthood, successfully recreating the puzzled feelings of fascination and revulsion that come with curiosity about what adults know and try to keep from children."
$19.95   Used & New from: $14.42
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

The Aura
7.  The Aura DVD ~ Ricardo Darín
The list author says:
  "Focused as it is on the mental and emotional state of the lead character, who is troubled by epilepsy, this heist movie by Argentine director Fabián Bielinsky is full of twists and turns that defy expectations."
$35.00   Used & New from: $4.79
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

A Song for Martin
8.  A Song for Martin DVD ~ Sven Wollter
The list author says:
  "Danish film director Bille August describes this film as a love story, although viewers are more likely to see it as a portrayal of the terrible toll of Alzheimer's disease on a spouse who is a survivor and caregiver."
$8.74   Used & New from: $0.09
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

The Son
9.  The Son DVD ~  Morgan Marinne, Isabella Soupart Olivier Gourmet
The list author says:
  "This Belgian film tells a story of grief and redemption as a teacher in a vocational training center takes on a young student, who is just released from prison, to teach him the fundamentals of carpentry."
$19.95   Used & New from: $6.26
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

The Kimstim Collection: The Color of Lies
10.  The Kimstim Collection: The Color of Lies DVD ~ Sandrine Bonnaire
The list author says:
  "In this film that begins with the murder of a young girl, French director Claude Chabrol explores the lies and half-truths that hold people together, even while they hide from each other what's really on their minds."
$10.75   Used & New from: $2.98
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

With A Friend Like Harry
11.  With A Friend Like Harry DVD ~ Laurent Lucas
The list author says:
  "In this French thriller, Harry is one of those over-friendly people who seem to have no idea when they're getting too close to someone else, and the creepiness sets in long before we sense that he's more than a little obsessive, if not totally psychopathic."
$19.98   Used & New from: $1.86
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

The Chorus (Les Choristes)
12.  The Chorus (Les Choristes) DVD ~ Gérard Jugnot
The list author says:
  "In this gentle French drama set in 1949, a music teacher takes a job at a boarding school and turns an unruly bunch of delinquents and orphans into a sweetly singing boys chorus."
$19.99   Used & New from: $1.02
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

Le Grand Voyage
13.  Le Grand Voyage DVD ~ Nicolas Cazale
The list author says:
  "In this French-Moroccan road movie, a father and son travel by car from France to Saudi Arabia. For the father, it is his once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca. For the teenage son, it is the worst possible turn of events."
$12.97   Used & New from: $3.00
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Roads to Koktebel
14.  Roads to Koktebel DVD ~ Gleb Puskepalis
The list author says:
  "This Russian road movie finds a down-on-their-luck father and his 11-year-old son traveling hundreds of miles on foot from Moscow to a village on the Black Sea."
$14.97   Used & New from: $3.90
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Spare Parts
15.  Spare Parts DVD ~ Aljosa Kovacic
The list author says:
  "This downbeat film from Slovenia follows the lives of two men who illegally transport third-world refugees across the border into Italy."
$16.00   Used & New from: $7.98
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

The Keys to the House
16.  The Keys to the House DVD ~ Kim Rossi Stuart
The list author says:
  "This heart-felt, brave Italian film is built on a simple premise - after 15 years, a runaway father reenters the life of his disabled son and begins an attempt to make amends for his abandonment."
$8.82   Used & New from: $0.48
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Bread and Tulips
17.  Bread and Tulips DVD ~ Licia Maglietta
The list author says:
  "This light romantic comedy from Italy, like its English predecessor "Shirley Valentine," follows a married woman as she escapes a housewife's life and finds another more to her liking."
Used & New from: $19.05
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (414 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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Rosenstrasse
18.  Rosenstrasse DVD ~ Katja Riemann
The list author says:
  "This German film revisits war-time Berlin and tells the fact-based story of non-Jewish women married to Jewish men, who  are separated from their wives and detained in a building on the Rosenstrasse of the film's title."
$37.99   Used & New from: $10.79
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

The Tunnel
19.  The Tunnel DVD ~ Heino Ferch
The list author says:
  "This gripping German film tells the story of a group of men and one woman who dig a tunnel under the Berlin Wall to rescue relatives and friends wanting to cross to the West. 2+ hours of high tension."
Used & New from: $61.99
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Schultze Gets the Blues
20.  Schultze Gets the Blues DVD ~ Horst Krause
The list author says:
  "For something way out of the ordinary (with a glimpse of pre-hurricane Gulf coast) and a quirky portrayal of pursuing an elusive dream that takes a retirement-age accordianist far off the beaten track, this German film is a pleaser."
$29.99   Used & New from: $0.09
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

Angry Harvest
21.  Angry Harvest DVD ~ Armin Mueller-Stahl
The list author says:
  "Set during WWII, this film tells a story of a well-to-do farmer on the German-Polish border who provides sanctuary for a Jewish woman, then makes her a prisoner of his own."
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  "Set in Scotland, this is a story of a single mother, on the run from an abusive husband, who keeps alive her nine-year-old son's wish for a loving father by writing him letters from what he's led to believe is a sailor aboard a cargo ship sailing the high seas."
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The Magdalene Sisters
23.  The Magdalene Sisters DVD ~ Anne-Marie Duff
The list author says:
  "Set in the 1960s in Ireland, this film tells the story of four young women living and working in a Roman Catholic institution, supervised by nuns, where they have been sent for giving birth to children out of wedlock."
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24.  Confetti DVD ~ Martin Freeman
The list author says:
  "This comic British mockumentary portrays the conflicts and potential mayhem inherent in the run-up to any wedding and multiplies it by about ten, as a wedding magazine launches a self-promoting competition among three couples for the most unusual marriage ceremony."
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Jindabyne
25.  Jindabyne DVD ~ Laura Linney
The list author says:
  "A haunting vision of human culpability, this disturbing domestic drama from Australia takes a situation from a Raymond Carver story and explores the impact of four fishing buddies' behavior on a community of whites and aboriginals."
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Once
26.  Once DVD ~ Glen Hansard
The list author says:
  "A modern movie musical set in Ireland, as a street musician befriends a Czech immigrant. Shot on a shoe string with a hand-held digital camera, the film has the look and feel of documentary, while telling a simple story about music's ability to heal and inspire."
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The list author says:
  "This wonderful, quirky comedy has volumes to say about the need for human intimacy. Set in 1950, as Swedish “home scientists” invade the homes of Norwegian bachelors to study how they use their kitchens."
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Red Road
28.  Red Road DVD ~ Kate Dickie
The list author says:
  "A woman working at a video-surveillance firm in a rough part of Glasgow gets more than a little interested in a man she sees on her monitor and begins to stalk him. Stark and compelling."
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Simon
29.  Simon DVD ~ Cees Geel
The list author says:
  "A screwball comedy from the Netherlands that portrays an odd-couple friendship between its title character, a crudely hilarious womanizing cafe owner and a mild-mannered gay dentist."
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Or My Treasure
30.  Or My Treasure DVD ~ Dana Ivgy
The list author says:
  "Grimly realistic film about an Israeli teenager attempting to help her mother give up a life of prostitution."
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Journey to the Sun
31.  Journey to the Sun DVD ~ Nazmî Kirik
The list author says:
  "This striking, touching, and disturbing film from Turkey follows events in the life of a young man in Istanbul who befriends a Kurd and discovers some of the realities of being an ethnic and political outcast."
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The Great Water
32.  The Great Water DVD ~ Mitko Apostolovski
The list author says:
  "Set in post-WWII Macedonia (former Yugoslavia), this film tells the story of two boys in an "orphanage" for the children of those who have opposed Stalin. Here they are subjected to political indoctrination and other cruelties, yet with a spirit of rebelliousness, they survive. Not all grim; there are some laughs, too."
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Campfire
33.  Campfire DVD ~ Michaela Eshet
The list author says:
  "This Israeli film, set in 1981, finds a middle-aged widow with two growing daughters at a point of change for all of them. While their mother is looking for an eligible bachelor to improve her chances of joining a group of West Bank settlers, the two girls have boyfriend problems of their own."
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Times and Winds (BesVakit)
34.  Times and Winds (BesVakit) DVD ~ Elit Iscan
The list author says:
  "This deeply felt and beautifully photographed film tells the story of three pre-adolescent friends coming of age in a remote Turkish mountain village."
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Man Push Cart
35.  Man Push Cart DVD ~ Ahmad Razvi
The list author says:
  "This small film about a Pakistani street vendor in Manhattan packs a big emotional wallop. Not technically a foreign film but far more a product of world cinema than Hollywood."
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La Petite Jerusalem
36.  La Petite Jerusalem DVD ~ Fanny Valette
The list author says:
  "This film about a family of Orthodox Jews living in Paris is concerned with freedom - especially freedom for women in a highly regulated and constricted culture - and what it means to live by the rule of law."
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37.  Caramel DVD ~ Nadine Labaki
The list author says:
  "Six women in modern-day Beirut find themselves torn between East and West, the traditional role of women in their culture and the desire for independence and equality. Comic and bittersweet."
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38.  Blame It on Fidel DVD ~ Nina Kervel-Bey
The list author says:
  "Set in Paris in 1970-71, this is a film about 9-year-old Anna, growing up in the home of leftist political activists. Directed by Julie Gavras, daughter herself of political filmmaker Costa-Gavras, the film represents the sometimes comic attempts of a child to make sense of the turmoil that has upset her previously untroubled middle-class life."
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Doble o Nada
39.  Doble o Nada DVD ~ Darío Grandinetti
The list author says:
  "Fanciful Argentine film about a famous tango singer of the 1930s, Carlos Gardel, and another not-so-famous one who becomes a body double."
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