Seven Superior Foreign Films You May Have Missed

Jun 23, 2020 | Newsletter

“The secret of film  is that it’s an illusion.”

George Lucas

Like a good wine,  an acquired taste may be required to appreciate a foreign language film. But it’s worth the effort. A foreign language film will open your eyes to wonderfully stimulating cultures and history. It’s fascinating to see how people from other countries live, learn, work, and love. We’ll get to understand that people from around the world are so alike  but also how different they can be. 

I selected seven foreign films that all received excellent reviews. But they weren’t blockbusters and you may have missed one or more of them. And if you have seen any them, they will still thrill you with a second or even a third viewing.

To certify that I am an equal opportunity selector, each film listed is from a different country. 


From China:


Not One Less​

In rural China, the village’s only school teacher must take a month’s leave to care for his ill mother. Nobody in the village is available to…


From France:

Jean de Flourette​

Jean de Florette is the first of a two-part series adapted from a novel by Marcel Pagnol. The follow up film is Manon of the Springs…


From Germany:

All Is Well​

Janne is an unemployed thirty-something publishing professional who encounters an old friend, Robert. He offers her a job…


From India:


In 1930s India, eight-year-old Chuyia becomes a widow before she knows what it is to be a child, let alone a wife. In those days, India regarded…


From Italy:

Umberto D​

Umberto is an elderly retired civil servant unable to live on his annual pension. He returns one day to his one-room apartment only to be told by the landlady that he’s being evicted…


From Japan:


Kanji Watanabe is a middle-aged civil servant who worked in a dead-end boring job for over 30 years. His wife died and Watanabe now…


From Sweden:

The Library Thief

Not to be confused with The Book Thief, a 20th Century Fox film, or with The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. The Library Thief is based on a true story. John Johansson, brilliant but hapless…


Coming Soon, Can’t Wait

Jul 03: Disney+. Original video recording of the Broadway production Hamilton

Aug 21: HBOMax. Chemical Hearts. Emotional coming-of-age story


News & Commentary

“Next year HBO Max will introduce an ad-supported version of the platform.”
–Joe Flint & Lillian Rizzo, The Wall Street Journal

Commentary: Facing enormous costs in acquiring quality content and the growing cut throat competition, subscriber and transactional digital platforms like Netflix, AppleTV+, and Amazon, will  be tempted to accept minimal advertising. Netflix currently has around 180 million subscribers. If they sold just two 30-second spots BEFORE the film started, they could probably take in $100 for the minute. If you calculate  the average Netflix subscriber probably watches 5 films a year, that adds up to billions of dollars of additional revenue for Netflix, even after splitting a portion with the filmmaker/distributor.  I predict this will happen!


My best,


If you found this site helpful, please recommend it to a friend. We also welcome your comments. / call 917-439-3364

P.O. Box 20038
New York, N.Y. 10075


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Get weekly streaming recommendations delivered directly to your inbox

Kanbar Recommends—join our free mailing list to receive weekly selections of the best TV shows and movies available.

You have Successfully Subscribed!