The World on Film – well, part of it

I spent nine months studying translation in Barcelona in 2003, so the other night, I watched the film Pot Luck (the original title: L’Auberge Espagnole) for nostalgic reasons.  Alongside the memories, another thing that struck me about this film was the variety of languages that were spoken.

You had English, French, Spanish and Danish – to name but a few – all by native actors in their own voice.

This made me wonder about the lack of cultural diversity, in terms of languages, in films in recent years.

It seems that most foreign films concentrate on languages from their home country; French films are now including Corsican and Provençal and Chinese films can blend Shanghaiese, Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking actors.

Even though world cinema celebrates the diversity of their home country, not many filmmakers dare to mix Eastern and Western cultures.   Surely, a tale about an Asian tourist backpacking in Europe or a Swedish woman finding herself in the temples of Japan would be just as enjoyable?

People criticise, laugh at and sometimes mock those who do not seem to be open to other cultures – but surely, films nowadays are only reinforcing this fact.

Are there any films that feature more than one language (these should not be from the same country, so various regional dialects do not count) and if so, what did you think of it?  Any excuse to add more films to rent 🙂


2 thoughts on “The World on Film – well, part of it”

  1. What about Babel? I liked how the stories all connected despite being set in different countries and the characters speaking different languages. It made it all a lot more convincing.

    • I agree – it’s refreshing to see a film with a story that can affect all the characters (no matter where they are) and express themselves in their native language as well 🙂


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