2018 Movies: Non-English Language

In the 9th Post post-Oscars, my true love sent to me: my favorite non-English language movies of 2018.

2018 Favorites: Introduction
In the 1st Post post-Oscars: 2018 Movies — Intro + Complete List
In the 2nd Post post-Oscars: 2018 Genre Movies
In the 3rd Post post-Oscars: 2018 Movie Beginnings and Endings
In the 4th Post post-Oscars: 2018 Miscellaneous Movies
In the 5th Post post-Oscars: 2018 Movie Music
In the 6th Post post-Oscars: 2018 Acting
In the 7th Post post-Oscars: 2018 Movie Year of the Year
In the 8th Post post-Oscars: 2018 Actors

Someone needs to come up with a more succinct phrase than “non-English language movie.”

I know the Academy goes with “Foreign Language Film”, but as one of the category’s biggest snubs rather astutely notes, “Foreign” centers the English experience; referring to movies in other languages as “foreign” implies a literal otherness, as if people are inherently foreign if they speak another language.

Well, fuck that noise.

So what shall we call these non-English language movies that isn’t as much of a clunky mouthful as non-English language movie??

Also, since I’m preaching unity, you may be wondering why I decided to clump together and single out movies as diverse as the non-English speaking world? Because, otherwise, they’d be lost in the shuffle. American audiences just don’t like to read their movies, and they tend to be more interested in seeing their own culture reflected back at them. It’s simple: the more foreign films we support, the more we’ll get, compared to the paltry number of attention-garnering releases every year.

Towards this end, I start below with the 13 non-English language films from 2018 that I deem GREAT. Then, I rank the nine shortlisted flicks that contended for the Academy Award (note: some of the ones from my personal list — dubbed, as always, the Stevens — were not eligible for Oscars consideration this year, because their respective countries chose a different movie for their official submission. Speaking of which, I end by ranking every submission, from which the aforementioned list of 9 was culled.

  1. Burning
  2. Roma
  3. Double Lover
  4. Border
  5. The Day After / Claire’s Camera
    1. So I actually prefer the four movies listed under this. BUT, if I was the sole Academy Awards voter, I’d feel obligated to dedicate my fifth nomination slot to honoring TWO great 2018 movies from the same director, Sang-soo Hong. I’m a big believer that the Oscars should fudge with their rules to reward multiple work from the same artist if they happen to have a fruitful year worth historically commemorating. More on this subject in two days…
  6. Let the Sunshine In
  7. Oh Lucy!
  8. Infinite Football
  9. Under the Tree
  10. The Cakemaker
  11. Let the Corpses Tan
  12. 22 July
  13. Tehran Taboo

  1. Burning (South Korea)
  2. Roma (Mexico)
  3. The Guilty (Denmark)
  4. Cold War (Poland)
  5. Shoplifters (Japan)
  6. Birds of Passage (Colombia)
  7. Capernaum (Lebanon)
  8. Never Look Away (Germany)

I didn’t see Kazakhstan’s Ayka, because it was never released stateside! Which just goes to show the point of this post!

  1. Burning (South Korea)
  2. Roma (Mexico)
  3. Border (Sweden)
  4. The Cakemaker (Israel)
  5. The Guilty (Denmark)
  6. Cold War (Poland)
  7. Shoplifters (Japan)
  8. Woman at War (Iceland)
    • two straight strong submissions from Iceland. Similar senses of humor
  9. I Am Not a Witch (United Kingdom)
  10. Birds of Passage (Colombia)
  11. Capernaum (Lebanon)
  12. Never Look Away (Germany)
  13. The Wild Pear Tree (Turkey)
  14. Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (Indonesia)
  15. El Ángel (Argentina)
  16. Memoir of War (France)
  17. The Heiresses (Paraguay)

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