Watch These Five International Movies Now

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In the age of streaming, the world is flat – screen size, travel to distant places is just a monthly subscription and a click away. We’ve traveled the world of options and selected the best new international movies for you to watch.


Stream on Amazon Prime Video.

“Sarpatta Parambarai” begins with an open-air boxing tournament filled with enthusiastic spectators. It’s the mid-1970s and India is under the brutal emergency rule of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The leaders of the southern state of Tamil Nadu are vocal opponents of Gandhi, and the tournament doubles as their soapbox. Throughout a nearly 40-minute introduction to a series of quick matches, the film introduces us both to this broader political history and to the complex micro-history of boxing in the Tamil capital, Chennai: many rival clans; the waning reign of the Sarpatta clan and its once legendary coach; The rise of a malevolent new champion that threatens to completely destroy Sarpatta. Soon, Kabilan (Arya), a rookie who lost his father in boxing gang fights years ago, takes up the challenge, promising to save Sarpatta.

A director known for blending blockbuster style with meaty sociopolitical themes, Pa. Ranjith (see 2018 hit movie “kaala”, also on Amazon Prime Video), creates an exciting hybrid of sports movie and mob movie. “Sarpatta Parambarai” is as detailed in its details as in its scope—character, costume, setting. Advancing at a breathtaking pace, the film follows Kabilan and his crew through years of hardship, betrayal, and honor games. But the way Ranjith yawns during truly daring fight scenes (both in and out of the ring) stage matches in such a cool and kinetic way that they both bite my nails and keep up with their infectious rhythm.

Stream on HBO Max.

This Costa Rican drama is a nice addition to what I call ‘Costa Rica’. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown canon: films about women who are unraveled by the demands of femininity, their indecision produces waves of disorientation in the fabric of the film. A young mother of two daughters, Isabel can barely find a place for herself in a life confined to childcare, housework and tailoring. She can’t answer the rejection when her husband and mother-in-law start to bother her to have another child despite the family’s poor resources. His repressed fear soon manifests in the form of strange visions of bodily dismemberment: ants crawling all over his body; her hair falls out in clumps.

If Antonella Sudasassi’s film fits the Nervous Disorder pattern a little too neatly—even cinematic shorthand for neurosis, stuffing a woman’s cake into her mouth—what sets it apart is that she never fully surrenders to hysteria. Instead, Sudasassi’s perceptual character study lays out her insights with precision and without too much stretch. Daniela Valenciano plays Isabel with a humble sense of mystery, never making her inner turmoil too obvious or predictable; Refreshingly, though her husband is unaware, she is not turned into a villain. With its naturalistic cinematography and sound design, the film builds on Isabel’s small, everyday breaks and reaches a climax that frightens with its simplicity.

Publish on Mubi.

Dazzling with sun, breeze and youthful desire, Guillaume Brac’s comedy follows a group of 20s on an exhilarating adventure in the French mountains. Félix, a handsome nursing student, meets and spends the night with the enthusiastic Alma on a jolly evening in Paris. When he leaves for a family vacation the next day, he decides to surprise him with a visit by reluctantly dragging his friend Chérif and a stupid car-share driver Edouard into their plans. What begins as a journey infused with children’s lust turns into something warm and tender, with the seemingly confusing, scenic setting unleashing seductive streams of friendship and romance. Félix and Alma test the fickle waters of love; Edouard is hilariously attached to his newfound team; and Cherif, who falls in love with a young mother, happens to be her babysitter. Working with a loose, partially improvised script, the young actors of the film maintain their cute rhythms, combining easy laughter and clapping with unforced depth.

Stream on Netflix.

In Toni Morrison’s classic novel The Beloved, a home is haunted by the ghost of a boy killed by his mother to save him from the horrors of slavery. Remi Weekes’ “His House” replaces the transatlantic expeditions of the slave trade with those of the contemporary refugee crisis, giving a kind of modern interpretation to the gothic tale of trauma and survivors’ guilt. In the film’s epic opening montage, we see a Sudanese couple, Bol and Rial, fleeing their homeland on an overflowing raft; They lose their daughter when their boat capsizes in a storm. Next We meet them at a detention center in England, after a long spell, they are finally released on bail and placed in a large, creaking house whose shadows soon take malevolent forms. The wonderful thing about Weekes’ smugness is that it intertwines a sort of kitchen sink drama about the life of an immigrant filled with hostile bureaucracy and rampant racism, with a totally creepy drama. As gruesome as the movie’s zombie sequences, Rial makes dizzying circles around the camera, making his fear and disorientation palpable as he tries to find his way around London, being reined in by xenophobic young men.

Publish on Mubi.

The radiant Golshifteh Farahani plays Selma, a Tunisian-born psychoanalyst living in Paris who returns to her hometown after the Tunisian revolution to open a practice, in “Arab Blues.” If the reasons for returning home are confusing to relatives, many of whom want to immigrate, talk treatment is even more difficult. “My clients come here and talk a blue streak but leave with beautiful hair,” a local hairdresser tells Selma. “What do people leave your office with?”

But Selma doesn’t exaggerate her services, and neither does Manele Labidi’s script. “Arab Blues” entertains in the comic, romantic and philosophical conversations that emerge in Selma’s seances, and focuses on the small and big problems of a people living in the uncertain midst of political turmoil. Labidi kindly mocks the cultural and ideological conflicts that surround Selma: While her neighbors oppose the image of a tattooed, unmarried woman smoking on their roof, Selma can’t seem to help her own ignorant disdain. However, these observations are never reduced to precise lines. It’s a film sensitive to people’s innate complexities, and it helps Labidi have an irreverent sense of humor: In an unexpected twist towards fantasy, Sigmund Freud appears to be rescuing Selma after her car breaks down, smoking a cigar in cool silence. while shedding all her troubles.

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