Tag Archives: foreign movies

Just when you thought you had it bad

Hi readers.  Maybe it’s worth watching some foreign films just to remind ourselves that things could be a lot worse.   All these are for streaming on Netflix.  I’ve given them all four, or five stars:

Tall as the Baobab Tree, 2012 NR 81 minutes, When an accident threatens his struggling family’s survival, a father decides to sell his 11-year-old daughter into an arranged marriage. Starring:Dior Kâ, Oumoul Kâ  Director:Jeremy Teicher

Mandabi 1968 NR 91 minutes A down-and-out man receives much-needed financial aid but hits bureaucratic roadblocks as he tries to convert the money order to cash. Starring:Makhouredia Gueye, Ynousse N’Diaye Director:Ousmane Sembène

 The Grocer’s Son  2007 NR 95 minutes After his father suffers a stroke, a young man reluctantly returns home to his small mountain village to help out with the family business.  Starring:Nicolas Cazale, Clotilde Hesme  Director:Eric Guirado

Lost in Thailand  2012 NR 105 minutes  This Chinese comedy caper tracks the competition between two managers for control over their company, which has developed a miraculous new product. Starring:Zheng Xu, Baoqiang Wang

Aftershock  2010 NR 135 minutes   In the decades after her mother chooses to save her brother and leave her to die following an earthquake, a girl struggles to rebuild her life. Starring:Fan Xu, Jingchu Zhang Director:Xiaogang Feng

Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets 2000 NR 98 minutes A group of urchins living on the hard streets of Casablanca create a familial bond of friendship in order to survive amid violence and poverty. Starring:Mounim Kbab, Mustapha Hansali Director:Nabil Ayouch 

A Thousand Months  2003 NR 120 minutes 1981 Morocco, young Mehdi comes to terms with his own culture during Ramadan, secure in the knowledge that his beloved father is away in France. Starring:Fouad Labied, Nezha Rahile Director:Faouzi Bensaïdi

 Journey of Hope 1990 PG 110 minutes Beckoned by tales of economic prosperity, a Turkish family leaves their meager existence and sets off on a grueling journey to Switzerland. Starring:Necmettin Çobanoglu, Nur Sürer
Director:Xavier Koller

Times and Winds 2006 NR 111 minutes Reha Erdem writes and directs this award-winning film set in rural Turkey, where three friends entering adolescence share the struggles of growing up. Starring:Taner Birsel, Nihan Asli Elmas Director:Reha Erdem

The Deserted Station 2002 NR 88 minutes Inspired by a photographic jaunt, this lyrical film asks what happens next when a couple is stranded in a small village after their car breaks down. Starring:Leila Hatami, Nezam Manouchehri Director:Alireza Raisian

Tsotsi 2005 R 94 minutes After shooting a woman and driving off in her car, a ruthless thug is surprised to discover a crying infant in the back seat. Starring:Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto Director:Gavin Hood

Munyurangabo 2007 NR 93 minutes A Tutsi orphaned by Rwanda’s genocide sets off to mete out rough justice with his Hutu friend but their tribal differences soon come to a head. Starring:Jeff Rutagengwa, Eric Ndorunkundiye Director:Lee Isaac Chung

Sounds of Sand 2006 NR 92 minutes With a drought killing their livestock and a war looming, the residents of an African village decide to migrate in search of an easier existence. Starring:Marion Hansel, Isaka Sawadogo

American Flyer 2010 NR 86 minutes After failed attempts to cross the border at Tijuana, a young man constructs a flying machine out of a wheelbarrow to try to fly into California. Starring:Douglas Spain, Julian Scott Urena
Director:Mark Christensen




Pakistanis and Americans are alike about 2nd Amendment

Son of a Lion Trailer on YouTube:  http://youtu.be/hdRCmNn3joc

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

One of the coolest aspects of Netflix is the foreign film availability.  Even though the films are just movies, they tell a lot about what movie-makers worldwide thought audiences in their countries would willingly watch.  What, in fact, their national populations would pay money to see.  Their beliefs, their likes and dislikes.

So a Netflix watcher can discover, for instance, how similar a lot of Americans are to Pakistanis by watching  Son of a Lion.   It’s a 2007 movie in which the primary characters are involved in a family business of gun making, gunsmithing, and gun sales and have been for several generations.   Expected to go into the family business, the 11-year-old son of a strict Muslim father runs away from home, determined to get an education instead.  In the location in Pakistan where they live everyone is a 2nd Amendment devotee.  Nobody bothers with signs or bumper stickers because they just raise their AK 47 or 1911 Colt and loose a few rounds into the air when the mood strikes.

Starring:Niaz Khun Shinwari, Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad, Director:Benjamin Gilmour. 

It’s comforting knowing how much we have in common with Pakistanis for the most part.  The father in the story is mujahedeen and fought against the Russians in Afghanistan and is extremely concerned where, should he allow his son to take to school, it would be located.  “Those schools are magnets for American bombs!” 

Probably a lesson there somewhere.

Old Jules

Compared to Mexicans, American Indians don’t like stoop labor

Hi readers.

I’ve noticed American Indians prefer doctoring, or motel owning jobs over stoop labor, mowing grass, carpentry and other grunt jobs preferred by Mexicans.  My VA physician is an American Indian, and so’s my cardiologist.  Both of whom speak English at 7-9 on an understandability scale of 10.  Better than the clerk down at Walmart.

This got me wondering about Indians ‘back home’ where they came from and whether everyone in India is a doctor or motel owner.  I figured the Indian film industry would be a good start.  So I searched “India” on Netflix.  One of the [quaint word] films recently released by the Indians is EXPRESS TO CHENNAI.


Fun, interesting film.  WEST SIDE STORY, THE GODFATHER,  and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC all wadded up into the same excellent movie.  Those Indians made me consider how much better off Hollywood would be if they just handed moviemaking over to the Indians, the way we’ve done with inventiveness, patent applications, doctoring, motel owning etc etc etc.

It’s a movie about the Indian mafia, about love and romance, about tourism, and it’s done in song and dance part of the time.  Freaking great movie.

I wouldn’t mind staying in a motel or getting a doctor working on my vitals if he comes from the country where EXPRESS TO CHENNAI was made.  Or his parents or grandparents came from there.

Unless they were poor, or huddled masses.  I’ve got no use having a Mexican doctor working on me. 


EL INFIERNO’s the best Mexican movie I’ve seen lately and I don’t care anything about having the people who made that one doing my cutting and pasting bodily.

Old Jules