New Display: Foreign Language Films

Have you ever thought about the criteria you set when deciding on a movie to watch? Maybe you’re in the mood for something silly, maybe sometimes you want to let a few tears loose, or maybe you’ve got your thinking brain on and want to see something that’ll challenge you. But is it possible that you may also lean towards something written in your native language?

In the Anglo-American world, native English speakers are incredibly privileged to have a ridiculous abundance of visual content produced in their language. However, for English and foreign language cinema to be regarded as equal and opposite is an absurdity propagated by Western institutional gatekeepers like multiplex cinemas and award shows. Sure, a film with subtitles may require pauses here and there for a full appreciation of the visuals, and it may take the first five minutes to get used to the idiosyncrasies of a dubbed film, but I’d say that’s a small price to pay to open up a literal world of story and film.

After Parasite (featured in this display) made history earlier this year as the first foreign language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, there has been much discussion about the Anglo-centricity of film in North America and the importance of global film in an increasingly global world. How can so much be constricted to such a small and nondescript category as ‘foreign-language’? (The irony of this being the title of the display is not lost on me).

I encourage you to dive into this selection of foreign language films that the library has to offer, and to submit suggestions to the library of films in your language(s) that you believe would be a great addition to the collection.

By Aria Ciccia

List of Titles:

  • The Counterfeiters (D743.23 F35 2008)
    • Austria
      • In German or French with English, French or Spanish subtitles.
  • Faat Kine (PN1997 F338 2001)
    • Senegal
      • In French and Wolof with English subtitles.
  • Farewell My Concubine (PN1997 F344 1999)
    • China
      • Chinese with English subtitles; closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.
  • Fanny & Alexander (PN1997 F36 2011 Blu-ray)
    • Sweden
      • Swedish dialogue, with optional English subtitles.
  • The Official Story (PN1997 H557 2004)
    • Argentina
      • In Spanish with English subtitles.
  • The Scent of Green Papaya (PN1997 S34 2011)
    • Vietnam
      • Vietnamese with English subtitles; closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (PN1997 W597 2001)
    • Taiwan
      • In Mandarin with optional soundtracks in English or French and optional subtitles in English or French ; closed-captioned in English for the hearing impaired.
  • Amal (PN1997.2 A46 2008)
    • Canada
      • English or French with some Hindi dialogue ; with optional English or English (SDH) subtitles; close-captioned.
  • Broken Embraces (PN1997.2 B76 2010)
    • Spain
      • Spanish and French language tracks with English and French subtitles.
  • Embrace of the Serpent (PN1997.2 E43 2016)
    • Colombia
      • Spanish, English, German, Huitoto, Latin, Ocaina, Portuguese, Ticuna, and Wanano, with optional English subtitles.
  • Talk To Her (PN1997.2 H22 2003)
    • Spain
      • In Spanish or French with English and French subtitles.
  • Beyond Silence (PN1997.2 J4265 2003)
    • Germany
      • In German [and German Sign Language] with optional yellow English subtitles; closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.
  • The Maid (PN1997.2 M34 2010)
    • Chile
      • Spanish language track, with English and French subtitles.
  • Parasite (PN1997.2 P3737 2020)
    • South Korea
      • Korean dialogue; English and French subtitles.
  • The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (PN1997.2 Y43 2007)
    • Brazil
      • Portuguese dialogue, English and Spanish subtitles.