Which Foreign Films Should Everyone See?


Credit: Strebe via Creative Commons.

Whenever Williston shows movies on campus, they typically go for big-budget films. But rarely do students get the chance to explore movies from other cultures, or films in other languages.

“The movie industry is Americanized,” said Thomas Thibault, a senior from Quebec City, Canada.  Exposing students to international movies can “open eyes to new cultures,” he said.

Thomas’s his favorite movie is La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful), a 1997 movie about the Holocaust starring Italian actors Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi and Giorgio Cantarini. Benigni also directed the film and won two Oscars for it in 1999, for best actor and best foreign language film.

Williston has a regular schedule of showing movies on the quad on the weekends. So far this year, students have seen one, Jurassic World, the fifth entry in the big-budget Hollywood blockbuster series.

Despite the popularity and appeal of Jurassic World and other huge Hollywood movies, students agree that everyone can benefit from watching movies made outside the traditional system.

“Pan’s Labryinth” a 2006 Mexican/Spanish movie by director Guillermo Del Toro , starring Ivana Baquero and Ariadna Gil, is another film Thomas Thibault recommended.

The Willistonian spoke with several teachers who also agree foreign films are important to watch on campus.

“It’s so simple,” said English teacher Ryan Tyree. “Why would you only watch American films? That’s one set of perspectives.”

Mr. Hing has taught film and photography classes at Wiliston for the past 20 years. He agrees that foreign language films are crucial to students learning new things about their classmates’ cultures.

“International films are important to see because we are very isolated here in our culture,” he said. “Other countries are making great films and we as students should be exposed to a broader perspective.”