Foreign movies which have been nominated for awards in several categories were recently produced (2006) and are now being rated and recognized according to how fresh their material is, the content quality, story lines, best actors, best directors, etc. There have been several foreign movies which deserve to be mentioned but just a few excel in their genre.
This year’s most successful movie genres have been: Drama/Fiction/Fantasy/Sci-Fi through film such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Drama: Days of Glory and The Lives of Others, etc.
This year, distributors waged Oscar campaigns for their foreign fare, among them Picturehouse for Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” the Weinstein Co. for the French-Algerian World War II pic “Days of Glory,” Fox Searchlight for Deepa Mehta’s “Water” and Sony Pictures Classics for Pedro Almodovar’s “Volver,” German drama “The Lives of Others” and Zhang Yimou’s “Curse of the Golden Flower.”
Starting with Pan’s Labyrinth, a very renowned films which portrays the though environment a young little girl lives through and how she finds a way out through her amazing imagination in order to survive her harsh reality. This film reminds us of the ways children think and how we as adults have lost touch with such wonderful imagination. This is without a doubt one of the best recent foreign films done in spanish.
The exquisite film “Days of Glory” is a French-Algerian production which deals with discriminatory treatment of French Africans which is still an issue today, and the conditions leading to a change in government policy. A very heart touching moment in relation to this film occurred at the Cannes Film Festival when the four main actors sang a song which has a sad yet truthful line: “we come from the colonies to save the motherland, we come from afar to die, we are the men of Africa”.
“The Lives of Others”, this film takes place in 1984, east Germany, just before the Berlin Wall fall in 1989. This excellent German production dramatizes the repressive living conditions under a communist regime. Set during the time that Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s movies had saturated world cinema consciousness, The Lives of Others’ style is cool modern noir.
From clever exposés of human nature, reality, psychology and social conditions these films stand out and make us think about our world’s situation, our part in it and it teaches us about the mistakes people have made in the past so that we don’t fall in the same destructive cycle. These foreign films are true masterpieces of our time.