Top foreign language movies to watch to top your classes


Collage made by Keertana Gangireddy

Movie posters of various movies mentioned in this article.

Keertana Gangireddy, Co-Managing-Editor

Foreign language classes at WA equip students with the skills to boost communication as well as cognitive thinking. One of the best ways to interact with a foreign language outside of school is to watch foreign-language movies. Below, is a list of French, Spanish, and German films for those hoping to be more engaged in their language classes.

French Language Movies

Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont (The African Doctor) 2016

Poster for ‘The African Doctor’ — Wikipedia

The African Doctor is a dramedy based on the life of Seyolo Zantoko, the father of French rapper Kamini. The movie follows Zantoko as a medical school graduate through his struggles as a black man in France. This is a great film to watch to learn about and immigrant dynamics in Europe in the 1970s, as well as Congolese-French culture. This is available on Netflix.

Nothing to Hide (Le Jeu) — 2018

Poster for ‘Le Jeu’ — Wikipedia

This dramedy offers insight into various relationships through an evening where a group of friends shares any messages, emails, and calls with everyone else. As a humorous film with an engaging plot-line, it’s perfect to learn French terms and phrases used in day-to-day conversations. This is available on Netflix.

Le Silence de la mer (The Silence of the Sea) — 1949

Poster for ‘Le silence de la mer’ — Wikipedia

A French classic, this movie details the impact of World War II on France through the story of a woman and an uncle forced to billet with a Nazi soldier. It’s based on a book by Jean Bruller with the same title, which makes this film-book duo especially suitable for those who want to get more involved with the language. Le Silence de la Mer is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime or iTunes, starting at $3.99.

The Necessities of Life (Ce qu’il faut pour vivre) — 2008

Poster for ‘Ce qu’il faut pour vivre’ — Wikipedia

Ce qu’il faut pour vivre is a Canadian French-language drama about an Inuit man from Northern Canada who needs tuberculosis treatment in Quebec. This film is especially informational, as it highlights a culture and a group of people that aren’t mainstream in the world. For those who are in for an emotional roller coaster, this film is available on Hulu.

Spanish Language Movies

Orígenes secretos (Unknown Origins) — 2020

Poster for ‘Unknown Origins’ — Wikipedia

For those who enjoy action and crime-based movies, this film will appeal to you. It follows a group of inspectors as they attempt to track down a serial killer. This movie based on a book by the same title written by David Galán Galindo is available to watch on Netflix.

La noche de 12 años (A Twelve-Year Night) — 2018

Poster for ‘La noche de 12 años’ — Wikipedia

Another crime-based drama, this Uruguayan Spanish-language film almost made it to the 91st Academy Awards. In addition to the gripping, political storyline, this movie is informational because it interacts with a culture from a Spanish speaking nation other than Mexico or Spain. This is available on Netflix.

Migas de pan (Breadcrumbs) — 2016

Poster for ‘Migas de pan’ — Wikipedia

Migas de pan is another Uruguayan Spanish-language film that competed for the Oscars in 2017. Along with the fact that this film interacts with a less common Spanish culture, explores the struggle of a student who is kidnapped and loses her son’s parental rights. This emotional film is free with an Amazon Prime subscription.

Hogar (The Occupant)

Poster for ‘The Occupant’ — Wikipedia

This film is a thriller revolving around a man who becomes obsessed with the new occupants of his apartment, which he had to sell, after losing all of his money. For those who are in search of a gripping and intense ride, this movie is available on Netflix.

German Language Movies

Betonrausch (Rising High) — 2020

Poster for ‘Rising High’ — Wikipedia

This dramedy follows a money-hungry man who attempts to make money out of the property market in Berlin. This is a great film to interact with shrewd everyday German, and it is available to watch on Netflix.

Sarajevo — 2014

Poster for ‘Sarajevo’ — Wikipedia

This historical film set in 1914 explores the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, and the political chaos that followed it when attempting to confirm who was behind the assassination. This film highlights an aspect of World War I not necessarily recognized by the general public. It is available on Netflix.

Nordwand (North Face) — 2008

Poster for ‘North Face’ — Wikipedia

Another historical fiction film, this movie is based on the 1936 attempt of two German climbers to climb the Eiger North Face. It entangles both politics and drama in an incredibly visually appealing masterpiece. Nordwand is available to rent and buy on Youtube, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and iTunes, starting from $1.99.

3 Türken & ein Baby — 2015

Poster for ‘Türken & ein Baby’ — Wikipedia

This comedy film is about three bachelor brothers who lead a dysfunctional life, and must suddenly take care of a baby. The movie incorporates both German and Turkish culture, making it especially educational. For those looking for a lighthearted watch, check out 3 Türken & ein Baby on Netflix.