This week, a departure from my usual film recommendations. As you know, my husband and I are lovers of foreign films and I’d like to share a few of our favourites. I’d also like to focus on younger actors this time. Some of these are little known (except in their own countries) or long-forgotten.
These are inspirational stories of hardship, loss and redemption. As well, I’ve included a little surprise that I came upon on YouTube. I hope you’re glad you stopped by! Happy Film Festival Friday on Saturday!
Children of Heaven (1997) dir. Majid Majidi
One of the most enjoyable foreign films out there, this Oscar-nominated film tells the story of an Iranian boy who loses his sister’s shoes and tries to recover them. The final sequence is like one of the great Hollywood sports films, but with more heart and innocence. You couldn’t possibly NOT love this movie!
A Time For Drunken Horses (2000) dir. Bahman Ghobadi
A fatherless 12 year old Iranian Kurd boy sets out with a horse-team of contraband smugglers through a mountain pass between Iran and Iraq to earn enough money for a life-saving operation for his brother. This will break your heart. Make sure you have a box of tissues on hand.
Time of the Gypsies (1988) dir. Kusturica
An incredible film from one of my favourite directors, Emir Kusturica. Desperation and destitution sends a young man from Sarajevo on a journey of self-discovery in order to save his family. A most amazing and absorbing film. I can’t recommend this one enough!
Babel (2006) dir. Alejandro G. Iñárritu
This Oscar-nominated film from 2006, tells a number of inter-woven stories and each story has a connection to children. In fact, the catalyst of the film occurs when two children in the hills of Morocco are fooling around with a rifle and accidentally strike a tour bus, seriously injuring a woman inside. The woman’s two children, back home, end up on a wild tour with their caregiver south of the border, in Mexico, with a very serious result. As well, we witness the sad efforts of a Japanese girl trying to gain attention anyway she can while her father appears oblivious to her angst. Well worth your time.
A Real Treat: Child Actors Jack Wild and Mark Lester of the musical, “Oliver!” reunite with the cast members and re-enact one of the big numbers. I really enjoyed seeing this and hope you do too!