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20 Movies You Have To Watch If You Are Learning Spanish

Learning a language while binging things on Netflix? Sign me up!

Improving your foreign language skills through the arts of movies and tv shows is not only very fun – it is also very effective and useful.

Why learn a language through movies?

The themes that are featured in movies are often very telling of the things that are big issues in a country. In Brazil, there are many movies involving favelas and police squads. Now, this doesn’t mean everyone in Brazil lives in a favela, but these movies could not be made in for example Sweden. Romantic comedies tell a lot about the ways people see romance, what people see as the ultimate love story.

A lot of Western movies revolve around Christmas, and that is because Christmas is a very important celebration in Western culture.

Another important thing when learning a language is that it is the easiest way to be exposed to real speech. In comparison to most language courses, these conversations aren’t meant to perfectly match the words you just had to learn with spaces in between the sentences to have you process it. Much of what you will hear you won’t be able to understand and that is exactly why you should watch it.

The best thing is that you are exposed to the way native people speak without having to respond to it. You also have the ability to add subtitles, be it in your own language or the language you are trying to learn, or pause it and write things down. All of these reasons make movies and tv shows the perfect aid for your language learning journey.

So, without any further ado let’s get into the list. Here are 20 movies you must watch when you are learning Spanish.

1. Amores Perros (2000)

“Amores perros is a 2000 Mexican drama thriller film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga. Amores perros is the first installment in González Iñárritu’s “Trilogy of Death”, succeeded by 21 Grams and Babel. It is an anthology film constructed as a triptych: it contains three distinct stories connected by a car accident in Mexico City. The stories centre on a teenager in the slums who gets involved in dogfighting; a model who seriously injures her leg; and a mysterious hitman. The stories are linked in various ways, including the presence of dogs in each of them.”

2. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

“The story takes place in Spain in Summer 1944, five years after the Spanish Civil War, during the early Francoist period. The narrative intertwines this real world with a mythical world centered on an overgrown abandoned labyrinth and a mysterious faun creature, with whom the main character, Ofelia, interacts. Ofelia’s stepfather, the Falangist Captain Vidal, hunts the Spanish Maquis who fight against the Francoist regime in the region, while Ofelia’s pregnant mother Carmen grows increasingly ill. Ofelia meets several strange and magical creatures who become central to her story, leading her through the trials of the old labyrinth garden. The film employs make-up, animatronics, and CGI effects to bring life to its creatures.”

3. Talk to Her (2002)

Talk to Her (Spanish: Hable con ella) is a 2002 Spanish comedy-drama written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, and starring Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, and Rosario Flores. The film follows two men who form an unlikely friendship as they care for two women who are both in comas. The film’s themes include the difficulty of communication between the sexes, loneliness and intimacy, and the persistence of love beyond loss

4. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior – both of which still haunt him decades later.

5. The Sea Inside (I) (2004)

The Sea Inside (Spanish: Mar adentro) is a 2004 Spanish drama film written, produced, directed, and scored by Alejandro Amenábar, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It is based on the real-life story of Ramón Sampedro (played by Javier Bardem), who was left quadriplegic after a diving accident, and his 28-year campaign in support of euthanasia and the right to end his life.

6. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

The film recounts the 1952 expedition, initially by motorcycle, across South America by Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado. As well as being a road movie, the film is a coming-of-age film; as the adventure, initially centered on youthful hedonism, unfolds, Guevara discovers himself transformed by his observations on the life of the impoverished indigenous peasantry. Through the characters they encounter on their continental trek, Guevara and Granado witness firsthand the injustices that the destitute face and are exposed to people and social classes they would have never encountered otherwise. To their surprise, the road presents to them both a genuine and captivating picture of Latin American identity. As a result, the trip also plants the initial seed of cognitive dissonance and radicalization within Guevara, who ostensibly would later view armed revolution as a way to challenge the continent’s endemic economic inequalities and political repression.

7. Bad Education (2004)

Bad Education (Spanish: La mala educación) is a 2004 Spanish drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Starring Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez, Daniel Giménez Cacho and Lluís Homar, the film focuses on two reunited childhood friends and lovers caught up in a stylised murder mystery. Along with metafiction, sexual abuse by Catholic priests, transsexuality and drug use are also important themes and devices in the plot, which led the MPAA to give the film an NC-17 rating.

8. Broken Embraces  (2009)

Inspired by darkness and by a photo of a couple, that Almodóvar took of El Golfo beach in Lanzarote in the late 1990s, the film serves as an homage to filmmaking, cinema and its various film genres. Stylistically, it is a complex noir-ish melodrama, that also blends comic elements with a film within a film—a broad comedy, that hearkens back to Almodóvar’s 1988 release, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Thematically, Broken Embraces addresses themes like voyeurism, repression, prostitution, death, vengeance, fixation, illness, and drugs.

9. Volver (I) (2006)

Raimunda (Penélope Cruz) and Sole (Lola Dueñas) are sisters in a working-class neighborhood south of Madrid whose parents died a few years prior in a tragic fire. One day, their dead mother Irene (Carmen Maura) returns as a ghost to resolve issues with Raimunda, who is busy dealing with her husband’s death and calming her daughter. Mysteries unfold in this story filled with death, incest, adultery, murder, fear, and humor. The ensemble cast of six female actors jointly won the Best Actress award at Cannes, and Cruz became the first Spaniard to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

10. All About My Mother (1999)

All About My Mother (Spanish: Todo sobre mi madre) is a 1999 Spanish drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, and starring Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Antonia San Juan, Penélope Cruz and Candela Peña. The plot originates in Almodóvar’s earlier film The Flower of My Secret (1995) which shows student doctors being trained in how to persuade grieving relatives to allow organs to be used for transplant, focusing on the mother of a teenager killed in a road accident. The film[deals with complex issues such as AIDS, homosexuality, transsexualism, faith, and existentialism.

11. The Skin I Live In (2011)

Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After twelve years, he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. In addition to years of study and experimentation, Robert needed a further three things: no scruples, an accomplice and a human guinea pig. Scruples were never a problem. Marilia, the woman who looked after him from the day he was born, is his most faithful accomplice. And as for the human guinea pig

12. Open Your Eyes (1997)

“In this Spanish-French-Italian co-production, a man deserts women after sleeping with them just once, a lifestyle that becomes his ultimate downfall. Finally he decides to stay with one woman, but reality and fantasy become blurred at the climax of the film. Rating: R (for some strong sexuality, language and some violence).”

13. Thesis (1996)

“In this suspenseful Spanish thriller, a film student’s curiosity over an accidentally discovered “snuff film” places her in mortal danger. Madrid film student Angela’s ordeal begins when she decides to write her thesis about violence in film. Her student adviser volunteers to search the university’s film vault for her and it is he who accidentally finds a secret room and randomly picks up an unmarked cassette.

He decides to preview it in the screening room and what he sees is so horrifying that he drops dead from heart failure. Angela finds him there and without thinking grabs the film he was watching. Back home she discovers it is a filmed account of the torture and death of a coed who has been missing for three years. Rather than be sensible and call the police, Angela begins her own investigation. Her first stop is the strange Chema, a student aficionado of hard-core porn and violent films. He sees the film and is able to identify the type of camera used. Sexy student Bosco has one and he was acquainted with the dead girl. Though he is a prime suspect, Angela is subtly drawn to him. This doesn’t sit well with the jealous Chema. Bosco is not her only suspect. Castro, her new faculty advisor and Bosco’s girl friend Yolanda may also have been involved.”

14. Burnt Money (2000)

“Nene & Angel and their accomplice Cuervo participate in a botched bank robbery in 1965 Buenos Aires, then hide out from the police in Uruguay while the gang breaks down”

15. Live Flesh (1997)

“Pedro Almodovar’s most mature and restrained film is a superbly structured melodrama about five people whose lives in modern Madrid are inextricably linked by a bullet fired in a police scuffle.”

16. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

“The film tells a coming-of-age story about two teenage boys who take a road trip with a woman in her late twenties. It stars Mexican actors Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal and Spanish actress Maribel Verdú, in the leading roles. The film is part of the road movie genre, set in 1999 against the backdrop of the political and economic realities of present-day Mexico, specifically at the end of the uninterrupted 71-year line of Mexican presidents from the Institutional Revolutionary Party and the rise of the opposition led by Vicente Fox. The film is recognized for its explicit depiction of sex and drug use, which caused complications in the film’s rating certificate in various countries.”

17. Biutiful (2010)

“Biutiful is a love story between a father and his children. This is the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds, his sacrifices for his children know no bounds. Like life itself, this is a circular tale that ends where it begins. As fate encircles him and thresholds are crossed, a dim, redemptive road brightens, illuminating the inheritances bestowed from father to child, and the paternal guiding hand that navigates life’s corridors, whether bright, bad – or biutiful.”

18. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

“The mournful fable of the Santa Lucia School during the last days of the Spanish Civil War. An imposing stone building set on a desolate plateau, the school shelters the orphans of the Republican militia and politicians, and other abandoned children. Upon his arrival at Santa Lucia, 10-year-old Carlos is confronted with the hostility of Jaime, the oldest of the children. Besides aged professor Casares, the adult personnel of the school includes Carmen, the steely headmistress; Alma, another teacher; Conchita, the cook; and the young caretaker Jacinto. Aggressive and greedy, Jacinto is filled with hatred for the school that houses him and the teachers that raised him. Gradually, Carlos uncovers the dark ties that bind the inhabitants of the school, including the secret that haunts them–Santi, a student who was brutally murdered, and whose pale ghost now wanders the grounds. Who killed Santi on the night when a bomb fell in the center of the courtyard, miraculously without exploding?”

19. Outrage (1993)

“Ana is an equestrian sharpshooter for a one ring circus in Madrid for a week. Marcos is a reporter doing a Sunday supplement piece. He interviews her and she invites him to dinner with the troupe. They dance, then spend the night together; he considers following her around Europe and promises he’d follow her to Hell. While he’s in Barcelona to cover a concert, three young men assault her. Bruised, humiliated, and bleeding, she picks up her rifle to hunt them down. Marcos follows her trail that, indeed, takes him to Ana’s hell.”

20. Even the Rain (2010)

“Even the Rain (Spanish: También la lluvia) is a 2010 Spanish drama film directed by Icíar Bollaín about Mexican director Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and executive producer Costa (Luis Tosar) who travel to Bolivia to shoot a film depicting Christopher Columbus’ conquest. Sebastián and Costa unexpectedly land themselves in a moral crisis when they and their crew arrive at Cochabamba, Bolivia, during the intensifying Cochabamba Water War in 2000, which their key native actor Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri) persistently leads.”

Movies, Resources

20 Movies You Have To Watch If You Are Learning French

Learning a language while binging things on Netflix? Sign me up!

Improving your foreign language skills through the arts of movies and tv shows is not only very fun – it is also very effective and useful.

Why learn a language through movies?

The themes that are featured in movies are often very telling of the things that are big issues in a country. In Brazil, there are many movies involving favelas and police squads. Now, this doesn’t mean everyone in Brazil lives in a favela, but these movies could not be made in for example Sweden. Romantic comedies tell a lot about the ways people see romance, what people see as the ultimate love story.

A lot of Western movies revolve around Christmas, and that is because Christmas is a very important celebration in Western culture.

Another important thing when learning a language is that it is the easiest way to be exposed to real speech. In comparison to most language courses, these conversations aren’t meant to perfectly match the words you just had to learn with spaces in between the sentences to have you process it. Much of what you will hear you won’t be able to understand and that is exactly why you should watch it.

The best thing is that you are exposed to the way native people speak without having to respond to it. You also have the ability to add subtitles, be it in your own language or the language you are trying to learn, or pause it and write things down. All of these reasons make movies and tv shows the perfect aid for your language learning journey.

So, without any further ado let’s get into the list. Here are 20 movies you must watch when you are learning French.

 

1. The Intouchables (2011)

“An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility, The Intouchables has broken box office records in its native France and across Europe. Based on a true story of friendship between a handicap millionaire (Francois Cluzet) and his street smart ex-con caretaker (Omar Sy), The Intouchables depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common.”

2. Amélie (2001)

“Amélie (also known as Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain)  English: The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain) is a 2001 French romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, the film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre. It tells the story of a shy waitress, played by Audrey Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better, while struggling with her own isolation.”

3. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (French: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) is a 2007 biographical drama film directed by Julian Schnabel and written by Ronald Harwood. Based on Jean-Dominique Bauby’s memoir of the same name, the film depicts Bauby’s life after suffering a massive stroke that left him with a condition known as locked-in syndrome. Bauby is played by Mathieu Amalric.”

4. A Prophet (2009)

“A Prophet (French: Un prophète) is a 2009 French prison drama-crime film directed by Jacques Audiard from a screenplay he co-wrote with Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri and Nicolas Peufaillit. The film stars Tahar Rahim in the title role as an imprisoned petty criminal of Algerian origins who rises in the inmate hierarchy, becoming an assassin and drug trafficker as he initiates himself into the Corsican and then Muslim subcultures.”

5. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

“Blue Is the Warmest Colour (French: La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2; is a 2013 French coming-of-age romantic drama film co-written, co-produced, and directed by  Abdellatif Kechiche, starring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. The film revolves around Adèle (Exarchopoulos), a French teenager who discovers desire and freedom when a blue-haired aspiring painter (Seydoux) enters her life. The film charts their relationship from Adele’s high school years to her early adult life and career as a school teacher. The premise of Blue Is the Warmest Colour is based on the 2010 French graphic novel of the same name by Julie Maroh.”

6. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

“The Triplets of Belleville (French: Les Triplettes de Belleville) is a 2003 animated comedy film written and directed by Sylvain Chomet. It was released as Belleville Rendez-vous in the United Kingdom. The film is Chomet’s first feature film and was an international co-production among companies in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Canada.

The film features the voices of Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, and Monica Viegas; there is little dialogue, the majority of the film story being told through song and pantomime. It tells the story of Madame Souza, an elderly woman who goes on a quest to rescue her grandson Champion, a Tour de France cyclist, who has been kidnapped by the French mafia for gambling purposes and taken to the city of Belleville (an amalgam of New York City, Montreal and Quebec City). She is accompanied by Champion’s loyal but obese hound, Bruno, and joined by the Triplets of Belleville, music hall singers from the 1930s, whom she meets in the city.”

7. The Son (2002)

“Olivier, a carpenter by trade who teaches at a trades training center, knowingly takes on Francis Thorion, the murderer of his son, as an apprentice. Francis is unaware of his connection with Olivier from five years ago. Olivier, tormented by the loss of his son and his separation from his wife, develops a slight obsession with Francis. He stalks him home, steals his keys and explores his apartment, whilst slowly discovering more about the boy. Francis looks up to Olivier, seeing him as a surrogate role-model. With this on his mind, Olivier is ultimately torn between hatred for the murderer of his son and the moral ambiguity of accepting this child from a broken home and disillusioned past.”

8. The Piano Teacher (2001)

“The Piano Teacher (French: La Pianiste) is a 2001 French-Austrian psychological thriller film, written and directed by Michael Haneke, that is based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Elfriede Jelinek, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature. It tells the story of an unmarried piano teacher at a Vienna conservatory, living with her mother in a state of emotional and sexual disequilibrium, who is attracted to a pupil but in the end repels him by her need for humiliation and self-harm. At the 2001 Cannes Film Festival it won the Grand Prix, with the two leads, Isabelle Huppert and Benoît Magimel, winning Best Actress and Best Actor.”

9. Rust and Bone (2012)

“Rust and Bone (French: De rouille et d’os) is a 2012 French–Belgian romantic drama film directed by Jacques Audiard, starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, based on Craig Davidson‘s short story collection Rust and Bone. It tells the story of an unemployed 25-year-old man who falls in love with a woman who trains killer whales.”

10. The Class (2008)

“The Class (French: Entre les murs; lit. ”Between the walls” or “Within the walls“) is a 2008 French drama film directed by Laurent Cantet, based on the 2006 novel of the same name by François Bégaudeau. The novel is a semi-autobiographical account of Bégaudeau’s experiences as a French language and literature teacher in a middle school in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, particularly illuminating his struggles with “problem children”: Esmerelda (Esmeralda Ouertani), Khoumba (Rachel Regulier), and Souleymane (Franck Keïta). The film stars Bégaudeau himself in the role of the teacher.”

11. Two Days, One Night (2014)

“In Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR 1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.”

12. Caché (2005)

“Caché, titled Hidden in the UK and Ireland, is a 2005 French psychological thriller written and directed by Michael Haneke. Starring Daniel Auteuil as Georges and Juliette Binoche as his wife Anne, the film follows an upper-class French couple who are terrorized by anonymous tapes that appear on their front porch and hint at Georges’s childhood memories.”

13. Paris, je t’aime (2006)

“Paris, je t’aime (English: Paris, I love you) is a 2006 anthology film starring an ensemble cast of actors of various nationalities. The two-hour film consists of eighteen short films set in different arrondissements. The 22 directors include Gurinder ChadhaSylvain ChometJoel and Ethan CoenGérard DepardieuWes CravenAlfonso CuarónNobuhiro Suwa, Alexander PayneTom TykwerWalter SallesYolande Moreau and Gus Van Sant.””

14. The Science of Sleep (2006)

“The Science of Sleep (French: La Science des rêves, literally The Science of Dreams) is a 2006 surrealistic science fantasy comedy film written and directed by Michel Gondry. The film stars Gael García Bernal, Charlotte GainsbourgMiou-Miou, and Alain Chabat. The film stems from a bed-time story that was written by Sam Mounier, then 10 years old.”

15. The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005)

“The Beat That My Heart Skipped (French: De battre mon cœur s’est arrêté) is a 2005 French film directed by Jacques Audiard and starring Romain Duris. It tells the story of Tom, a shady realtor torn between a criminal life and his desire to become a concert pianist. The film premiered on 17 February 2005 at the Berlin Film Festival.”

16. Of Gods and Men (2010)

“Of Gods and Men is a 2010 French drama film directed by Xavier Beauvois, starring Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale. Its original French language title is Des hommes et des dieux, which means “Of Men and of Gods” and refers to a verse from the Bible shown at the beginning of the film. It centers on the monastery of Tibhirine, where nine Trappist monks lived in harmony with the largely Muslim population of Algeria, until seven of them were kidnapped and assassinated in 1996 during the Algerian Civil War. 

Largely a tale of a peaceful situation between local Christians and Muslims before becoming a lethal one due to external forces, the screenplay focuses on the preceding chain of events in decay of government, expansion of terrorism, and the monks’ confrontation with both the terrorists and the government authorities that led up to their deaths. Principal photography took place at an abandoned monastery in Azrou, Morocco.”

17. 8 Women (2002)

“8 Women (French: 8 femmes) is a 2002 French dark comedy musical film, written and directed by François Ozon. Based on the 1958 play by Robert Thomas, it features an ensemble cast of high-profile French actresses that includes Danielle DarrieuxCatherine DeneuveIsabelle HuppertEmmanuelle BéartFanny ArdantVirginie LedoyenLudivine Sagnier, and Firmine Richard. Revolving around an eccentric family of women and their employees in the 1950s, the film follows eight women as they gather to celebrate Christmas in an isolated, snowbound cottage only to find Marcel, the family patriarch, dead with a knife in his back. Trapped in the house, every woman becomes a suspect, each having her own motive and secret.”

18. Welcome to the Sticks (2008)

“A French public servant from Provence is banished to the far North. Strongly prejudiced against this cold and inhospitable place, he leaves his family behind to relocate temporarily there, with the firm intent to quickly come back.”

20. Goodbye to Language (2014)

“Goodbye to Language (French: Adieu au Langage) is a 2014 French-Swiss 3D experimental narrative essay film written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It stars Héloïse Godet, Kamel Abdeli, Richard Chevallier, Zoé Bruneau, Jessica Erickson and Christian Grégori and was shot by cinematographer Fabrice Aragno. The film depicts a couple having an affair. The woman’s husband discovers the affair and the lover is killed. Two pairs of actors portray the couple and their actions repeat and mirror one another. Godard’s own dog Roxy Miéville has a prominent role in the film and won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival.”

Movies, Resources

20 Movies You Have To Watch If You Are Learning German

Learning a language while binging things on Netflix? Sign me up!

Improving your foreign language skills through the arts of movies and tv shows is not only very fun – it is also very effective and useful.

Why learn a language through movies?

The themes that are featured in movies are often very telling of the things that are big issues in a country. In Brazil, there are many movies involving favelas and police squads. Now, this doesn’t mean everyone in Brazil lives in a favela, but these movies could not be made in for example Sweden. Romantic comedies tell a lot about the ways people see romance, what people see as the ultimate love story.

A lot of Western movies revolve around Christmas, and that is because Christmas is a very important celebration in Western culture.

Another important thing when learning a language is that it is the easiest way to be exposed to real speech. In comparison to most language courses, these conversations aren’t meant to perfectly match the words you just had to learn with spaces in between the sentences to have you process it. Much of what you will hear you won’t be able to understand and that is exactly why you should watch it.

The best thing is that you are exposed to the way native people speak without having to respond to it. You also have the ability to add subtitles, be it in your own language or the language you are trying to learn, or pause it and write things down. All of these reasons make movies and tv shows the perfect aid for your language learning journey.

So, without any further ado let’s get into the list. Here are 20 movies you must watch when you are learning German.

1. Das Leben der Anderen

“The Lives of Others (German: Das Leben der Anderen) is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, about the monitoring of East Berlin residents by agents of the Stasi, the GDR‘s secret police. It stars Ulrich Mühe as Stasi Captain Gerd Wiesler, Ulrich Tukuras his superior Anton Grubitz, Sebastian Koch as the playwright Georg Dreyman, and Martina Gedeck as Dreyman’s lover, a prominent actress named Christa-Maria Sieland.” 

2. Der Untergang

Downfall (GermanDer Untergang) is a 2004 GermanItalianAustrian historical war drama film depicting the final ten days of Adolf Hitler‘s rule over Nazi Germany in 1945. It was based on several histories of the period. The film was directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, and written and produced by Bernd Eichinger. The film received critical acclaim upon release and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.”

3. Gegen die Wand

“Cahit Tomruk is a Turkish German in his 40s. He has given up on life after the death of his wife and seeks solace in cocaine and alcohol. One night, he intentionally drives his car head-on into a wall and barely survives. At the psychiatric clinic he is taken to, Sibel Güner, another Turkish German who has tried to commit suicide, approaches him. She asks Cahit to carry out a formal marriage with her so that she can break out of the strict rules of her conservative family. Cahit is initially turned off by the idea, but then he agrees to take part in the plan.”

4. Auf der andere Seite

“Retired widower Ali Aksu (Tuncel Kurtiz), a Turkish immigrant living in the German city of Bremen, believes he has found a solution to his loneliness when he meets Yeter Öztürk (Nursel Köse). He offers her a monthly payment to stop working as a prostitute and move in with him. After receiving threats from two Turkish Muslims for the work she does, she decides to accept his offer. Ali’s son, Nejat Aksu (Baki Davrak), a professor of German literature, does not have time to respond to the prospect of living with a woman of “easy virtue” before Ali is stricken with a heart attack. He softens to her: he learns that she has told her 27-year-old daughter she is a shoe saleswoman, sending shoes to her in Turkey to support that story, and wishes her daughter could receive an education like his.”

5. Das Experiment

“For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The “prisoners” have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the “guards” are told to retain order without using physical violence.”

6. Lola Rennt

Run Lola Run (GermanLola rennt, literally “Lola runs”) is a 1998 German thriller film written and directed by Tom Tykwer, and starring Franka Potente as Lola and Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni. The story follows a woman who needs to obtain 100,000 Deutsche Mark in twenty minutes to save her boyfriend’s life. The film’s three scenarios are reminiscent of the 1981 Krzysztof Kieślowski film Blind Chance; following Kieślowski’s death, Tykwer directed his planned film Heaven. The film was released on DVD on 21 December 1999 and on Blu-ray on 19 February 2008.

7. Good Bye Lenin

The film is set in East Berlin, from October 1989 to just after German reunification a year later. Alex lives with his sister, Ariane, his mother, Christiane, and Ariane’s infant daughter, Paula. It appears that his father abandoned the family and fled to the West in 1978. In his absence, Christiane has become an ardent supporter of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (the Party). On the other hand, Alex takes part in an anti-government demonstration. There he meets a girl, but they are separated by the Volkspolizei before they can properly introduce themselves. When Christiane sees Alex being arrested, she suffers a near-fatal heart attack and falls into a coma. While visiting his mother in the hospital, Alex encounters the girl he met in the demonstration, Lara, a nurse from the Soviet Union who is now caring for his mother. Alex and Lara soon begin dating and develop a close bond.

8. Nirgendwo in Afrika

In 1938, the Redlich family flees to Kenya from Leobschütz in SilesiaNazi Germany, to escape the increasing persecution of the Jews. Walter, a former lawyer, finds work as a farm manager and sends for his family. His wife Jettel has trouble adjusting to life in Africa, although their daughter Regina quickly adapts to her new environment, easily learning the language of the country and showing interest in local culture. Regina soon forms a close friendship with the farm’s cook, Owuor, who helped save Walter’s life when he had malaria. The only German contact that Jettel has is through a friend of Walter’s named Süsskind, an ex-German who has lived in Africa for years. Jettel asks Süsskind why he was never married, and he states that he had a habit of falling in love with married women.

9. Funny Games

Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.

Funny Games is a 2007 psychological thriller film written and directed by Michael Haneke, and a remake of his own 1997 film Funny GamesNaomi WattsTim RothMichael Pitt, and Brady Corbet star in the main roles. The film is a shot-for-shot remake of the 1997 film,[3][4][5] albeit in English and set in the United States with different actors.[6] Exterior scenes were filmed on Long Island.[6] The film is an international co-production of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy.[7][8][9]

Haneke has stated that the film is a reflection and criticism of violence used in media.[10]

10. Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage

” Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (GermanSophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage) is a 2005 German film by director Marc Rothemund and writer Fred Breinersdorfer. It is about the last days in the life of Sophie Scholl, a 21-year-old member of the anti-Nazi non-violent student resistance group the White Rose, part of the German Resistance movement. She was found guilty of high treason by the People’s Courtand executed the same day, 22 February 1943.

The film was presented at the Berlinale in 2005 and won Silver Bear awards for Best Director and Best Actress (Julia Jentsch). It was nominated in September 2005 for an Oscar in the category Best Foreign Language Film.”

11. Stalingrad

“The story follows a group of German soldiers, from their Italian R&R in the summer of 1942 to the frozen steppes of Soviet Russia and ending with the battle for Stalingrad.” *

“Stalingrad is a 1993 German war drama film directed by Joseph Vilsmaier. The movie follows a platoon of World War II German Armysoldiers transferred to Russia, where they ultimately find themselves fighting in the Battle of Stalingrad.

The film is the second German movie to portray the Battle of Stalingrad. It was predated by the 1959 Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben(Stalingrad: Dogs, Do You Want to Live Forever?).”

12. Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei

“Three activists cobble together a kidnapping plot after they encounter a businessman in his home.”

The Edukators (GermanDie fetten Jahre sind vorbei)[a] is a 2004 German-Austrian crime drama film directed by Hans Weingartner. It stars Daniel BrühlStipe Erceg and Julia Jentsch as three young, anti-capitalist Berlin activists involved in a love triangle. The friends, calling themselves “the Edukators”,[b] invade upper-class houses, rearrange the furniture, and leave notes identifying themselves.

Weingartner, a former activist, wrote the film based on his experiences and chose to use nonviolent characters. The film, shot in Berlin and Austria with digital hand-held cameras, was made on a low budget which Weingartner said kept the focus on the acting. First shown at the Cannes Film Festival on 17 May 2004 and released in its home countries later that year, The Edukators was praised by critics and audiences. It grossed more than $8 million worldwide and received a number of awards and nominations. It did, however, receive criticism mainly for its political statements and also for its long running time.”

13. Der Baader Meinhof Komplex

“A look at Germany’s terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and ’70s.”

The Baader Meinhof Complex (GermanDer Baader Meinhof Komplex) is a 2008 German film by Uli Edel in his first directorial project since 2000’s The Little Vampire. Written and produced by Bernd Eichinger, it stars Moritz BleibtreuMartina Gedeck, and Johanna Wokalek. The film is based on the 1985 German best selling non-fiction book of the same name by Stefan Aust. It retells the story of the early years of the West German far-left militant group the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Fraction, or Red Army Faction, a.k.a. RAF) from 1967 to 1977.

The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards. It was also nominated for the Golden Globe in the Best Foreign Language Film category.”

14. Das schrekliche Mädchen

“When a young woman investigates her town’s Nazi past, the community turns against her.”

The Nasty Girl (GermanDas schreckliche Mädchen) is a 1990 West German drama film based on the true story of Anna Rosmus. The original German title loosely translates as “The Terrible Girl.”

The film was selected as the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 63rd Academy Awards.[2]

15. Herr Lehnmann

“Frank Lehmann (Christian Ulmen) is a bartender working in Kreuzberg, a borough of West Berlin in October 1989, in the final weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall. As he is approaching his 30th birthday, his friends start teasing him by calling him “Herr Lehmann” (“Mr. Lehmann”). He has little interest in anything outside of SO 36, the eastern part of the borough of Kreuzberg. He has a brief relationship with Katrin (Katja Danowski (de)), a cook at a nearby bar. His best friend, Karl (Detlev Buck) slowly goes mad, and his parents show up for a visit, disrupting his laid-back lifestyle.”

16. Comedian Harmonists

“In 1927, unemployed German-Jewish actor Harry Frommermann is inspired by the American group The Revelers to create a German group of the same format. He holds auditions and signs on four additional singers and a pianist. Naming themselves the “Comedian Harmonists”, they meet international fame and popularity. However, they eventually run into trouble when the Nazis come to power, as half the group is Jewish.”

17. Das Wonder von Bern

“Richard, a coal miner from Essen, returns after eleven years of being a Soviet prisoner of war in Siberia. In the meantime, his wife, two sons, and one daughter have reached a minimum standard of living without him. When he is unexpectedly repatriated in 1954, he has severe problems in reintegrating himself with his family and country. His wife is running a small business, his elder son has become a Communist challenging his father’s ideals of the Nazi time, his daughter flirts with British soldiers who are his former enemies, while his 11-year-old son Matthias, who never knew his father, admires a local football hero instead, Helmut Rahn of Rot-Weiß Essen.

While Richard is initially very stern about Matthias’ love for football, he gradually softens such that, on the night before the final game, father and son drive to Bern to see the match.

An additional plot of the movie is the personal triumph of Helmut Rahn, for whom Matthias becomes a lucky mascot. Rahn, nicknamed “The Boss”, has a successful record at club level, though is rarely chosen to play at national level in trainer Sepp Herberger‘s team.”

18. Der bewegte Mann

“Axel (played by Til Schweiger) has just been dumped by his girlfriend Doro (Katja Riemann), and needs to find a new place to live. He meets Walter a.k.a. Waltraud (Rufus Beck), a transvestite who participated in a heterosexual men’s group to provide a gay man’s perspective. Walter talks Axel into joining him and some friends at a gay party afterwards, and tries to convince Axel to move in with him. At the party, Axel decides instead to move in with Walter’s best friend, Norbert (Joachim Król), whose boyfriend has just left him. Later, at Axel and Doro’s apartment, Norbert tries to seduce Axel while they browse old photos. Just when Norbert has shed all his clothes, Doro shows up at the door, and Axel hastily hides Norbert. Doro explains to Axel that she’s expecting his child and wants to give their relationship a second chance. She is not amused to discover a naked man in the wardrobe, but Axel manages to convince her that nothing has happened. Excited about fatherhood and eager to return to Doro, Axel forgets about his new friendship with Norbert.”

19. Anatomie

“Medical student Paula Henning (Franka Potente) wins a place in a summer course at the prestigious University of Heidelberg‘s Medical School. Her grandfather had been a noted professor there, and was famous for developing a useful drug, Promidal. The course will be taught by Professor Grombek, who announces the hard work ahead. He also tells them that he will be using the elimination system, where the six lower grades will be periodically discarded. During one of their courses on anatomy, the body of David, a young man whom Paula met and helped on the train trip to Heidelberg, turns up on her dissection table. She is then humiliated by Professor Grombek, who dares her to cut and dissect the heart. She remarks that the body presents strange cuts, but this is dismissed as bad handling by the morgue caretaker. She decides to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death. When she goes to cut a sample for an independent test she is amazed to find a triple “A” mark near David’s ankle. She is then startled by the medical school’s mortuary preparator,[3] who wants to know if Professor Grombek is aware of her acts.”

20. Schattenboxer

“Eddi is just back in town after his imprisonment. He plans to free his African jail comrade Timpe, because the latter will get no asylum in Germany and probably be killed when sent to his country. When freeing Timpe at the airport, Eddi and his comrades find out that the police officers are smuggling drugs when escorting those who get no asylum back to their countries. Eddi decides to take advantage of the situation.”

I hope you enjoyed this list! What movies do you recommend for people learning German?

 

Movies, Music, Resources, TV

The Ultimate Resource Guide For People Learning Dutch

Music // Muziek

classics //  klassiekers

This list is a compilation of some of the most famous songs in the Dutch music history from all genres.

The Dutch Classic Playlist

pop music // popmuziek 

Acda en de Munnik, Marco Borsato, Eefje de Visser, Miss Montreal, Ilse DeLange, Waylon, Dotan, Nielson,  Trijntje Oosterhuis, Mr. Probz, VanVelzen, Het Goede Doel, Nick en Simon, Fluitsma en van Tijn, Toontje Lager, Volumia, Jurk!, Veldhuis en Kemper, Maaike Ouboter

rock music // rockmuziek

Bløf, Racoon*, Golden Earring, Van Dik Hout, Anouk*, Doe Maar, De Poema’s, De Kast, De Dijk, Kensington *, Kane *,

dutch folk // nederlandse volksmuziek

Frans Bauer, André Hazes, De Toppers, Gerard Joling, Jan Smit,

hip hop // hip hop

Broederliefde, Lil Kleine, Gers Pardoel, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Mr. Polska, Ali B, Ronnie Flex, Kraantje Pappie, Willie Wartaal,

electronic music // elektronische muziek

Armin van Buren, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, DJ Tiësto,

Click here for a complete list of Dutch bands

Movies // Films

classics // klassiekers

Turks Fruit (1973), Zwartboek (2006), Alles is Liefde (2007), De Heineken Ontvoering (2011)

crime // misdaad

De Grote Zwaen (2015), Black (2015), Schone Handen (2015), Glückauf (2015), Undercover (2015), Littekens (2014), Wolf (2013), Plan C (2012), Black Out (2012), De Heineken Ontvoering (2011), Oom Henk (2012), De Overloper (2012), Taartman (2009), TBS (2008), De Dominee (2004), Van God los (2003), Lek (2000), De Inbreker (1972)

romantic comedy // romantische komedie

Alles is Liefde (2007), Mannenharten (2013), Liever Verliefd (2003), Het Schnitzelparadijs (2005), Alle Tijd (2011), Soof (2013), Hartenstraat (2014), De Surprise (2015), Ja ik wil (2015)

drama // drama

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012), t’padashtun (2017), 100% coco (2017), Sprakeloos (2017), Broers (2017), Quality Time (2017), Riphagen (2017), Vind Die Domme Trut (2017), Vincent (2016), Home (2016), If The Sun Explodes (2016), Le Ciel Flamand (2016), Kappen! (2016), Layla M. (2016), Stop Acting Now (2016), De Zaak Menten (2016), De Maatschap (2016), The Paradise Suite (2015), Banana Pancakes and the Children of Sticky Rice (2015), Bloed, Zweet en Tranen (2015), Dans met de Duivel (2015), N: The Madness of Reason (2014), Aanmodderfakker (2014), Brozer (2014), Lucia de B. (2014), After the Tone (2014), Jongens (2014), Ramses (2014)

historic // historische films

Publieke Werken (2015), Michiel de Ruyter (2015), Hoe Duur Was de Suiker (2013), Kenau (2014), Nova Zembla (2011), Nynke (2001). Belle van Zuylen (1993), Heilige Jeanne (1978), Rembrandt fecit 1669 (1997)

Internationally Famous Celebrities

Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones, Valkyrie, Black book)

Famke Jansen (Blacklist, Taken, X-Men)

Rutger Hauer (Batman, Blade Runner, Sin City)

Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones, Black book, Age of Adeline)

Tv-Shows // TV Series

crime // misdaad

Suspects (2017 – now), Baantjer (1995 – 2006), Grijpstra en de Gier (2004 – 2007), Flikken Maastricht (2007 – now), Baas Boppe Baas (2004 – unknown), Moordvrouw (2012 – now),

drama // drama

Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden (1990 – now), Gooische Vrouwen (2005 – 2009), Medisch Centrum West (1988 – 1994), Nieuwe Buren (2014 – now), Divorce (2012 – 2016), Penoza (2010 – now), Van God Los (2011 – now), De Co-Assisent (2007 – 2010), Westenwind (1999 – 2003), Vuurzee (2005 – 2009), Verborgen Gebreken (2009 – now), Lijn 32 (2012), Suspects (2017 – now), Overspel (2011 – now),

comedy // komedie

Flodder (1993 – 1998), S1NGLE (2008 – 2010), Café de Wereld, Kees & Co (1996 – 2007), New Kids, Voetbalvrouwen (2007 – 2010), Schaep met de 5 Poten, Jiskefet, Shouf Shouf, Wat Als?, Zeg ‘Ns AA, Het Zonnetje in Huis, Iedereen is Gek op JackDivorce

Comedians // Cabaretiers

Najib Amhali, Theo Maassen, Thomas Acda, Javier Guzman, Paulien Cornelisse, Arjen Lubach,

Websites to watch shows

Uitzending Gemist, NPO (free), RTL XL (free),Videoland (paid)

Youtube Channels // Youtube Kanalen

beauty // beauty

Beautygloss, Nikkietutorials*, Lifesplash, Looks by Sharon, Pinky Polish, Today’s Beauty, Teskuh, Vera Camilla, Beautyill, Miss Lipgloss, By Aranka, Anna Nooshin

vlogging // vloggen

Monica Geuze, Enzo Knol, Furtjuh, Gewoon Thomas, Meisje Djamila

News // Nieuws

RTL Nieuws, NOS, De Volkskrant, De Telegraaf, NRC, NRC Next, Metro Nederland,

Algemeen Dagblad, Trouw, De Correspondent

Magazines // Tijdschriften

Click here for a complete list of magazines

Facebook Pages // Facebook Paginas

Here are some of the Facebook pages you can follow from the above mentioned news outlets, celebrities, etc

news // nieuws

RTL Nieuws, NOS, De Volkskrant, De Telegraaf, NRC, NRC Next, Metro Nederland, Algemeen Dagblad, Trouw, De Correspondent

satire // satire

De Speld, De Gladiool, Nieuwspaal

*in English