I have, in my middle aged years, become disenchanted with popular American films. I’m sure it’s a combination of my ever-increasing accumulation of birthdays as well as personal growth away from culture of violence and glamour. I don’t watch television of any sort, including news, TV series, sports, but I do like to enjoy movies. It’s become obvious, to me at least, American movies have changed over the years into something I simply no longer wish to watch. I eventually turned to non-American films mostly from Europe and Asia. Reading subtitles had been a deterrent from getting into non-English language films, but it’s become much easier now with viewing practice.
As an American growing up on Hollywood blockbuster movies I didn’t fully realize, until I did some traveling, how utterly deprived I was within my own cultural limitations. Pre 1960’s films, French New Wave, German, Russian, and many others were all neglected because I carried American superiority programming and belief that everything else must be substandard. Cultural centrism can indelibly distort one’s global perspective. Please don’t consider this bashing on American culture, or anyone’s, as every society has its own blind spots. I live in the US and intimately know its particular flavors of indoctrination.
Films worldwide are so beautiful, full of human expression, and rich in cultural diversity. To limit oneself within one’s own language, culture, artistic expression, and personal perspective, is quite debilitating in the long run as it deprives growth and understanding of the whole human experience, collectively known as humanity.
Here are 3 films I wish to share that I am just stunned by the beauty of how well they are crafted; photographically, editorially and artistically, as well as intellectually and emotionally engaging.
As a disclaimer, I am not a film critic and it is not the intent of this post to engage in pedantic arguments over film opinions. I have merely presented this to share what I opine to be worthy movies of viewing as alternatives to popular contemporary American films. With that said, I do wholeheartedly welcome suggestions of other spiritually oriented films.
I love you ALL, thanks for viewing and your input ;)))
A film by German director Christian Petzold starring Nina Hoss and Ronald Zehrfeld about a woman, in post WWII Berlin, who suffers a severe crisis of identity and embarks on a journey of discovery by attempting to reassemble her pre-war life.
A spellbinding mystery of identity, illusion, and deception unfolds against the turmoil of post-World War II Germany in the stunning new film from acclaimed director Christian Petzold (Barbara, Jerichow). Nelly (Nina Hoss), a German-Jewish nightclub singer, has survived a concentration camp, but with her face disfigured by a bullet wound. After undergoing reconstructive surgery, Nelly emerges with a new face, one similar but different enough that her former husband, Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld), doesn’t recognize her. Rather than reveal herself, Nelly walks into a dangerous game of duplicity and disguise as she tries to figure out if the man she loves may have been the one who betrayed her to the Nazis. Evoking the shadows and haunted mood of post-war Berlin, Phoenix weaves a complex tale of a nation’s tragedy and a woman’s search for answers as it builds towards an unforgettable, heart-stopping climax. ~ IFC Films
A film by Pan Nalin starring Shawn Ku and Christy Chung about an Indian Himalayan Lama who chooses to leave monastery life for the desires of a carnal relationship and subsequent roads that choice leads to. Important to note this is not the documentary film of the same title from 2011, a magnificent film in its own right.
What is more important: satisfying one thousand desires or conquering just one…
A spiritual love-story set in the majestic landscape of Ladakh, Himalayas. Samsara is a quest; one man’s struggle to find spiritual Enlightenment by renouncing the world. And one woman’s struggle to keep her enlightened love and life in the world. But their destiny turns, twists and comes to a surprise ending… Written by Monsoon Films
A film by German director Wim Wenders starring Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, and Peter Falk about the Angels’ sympathetic relationship with incarnate humans and the desire of one angels wish to experience mortal life. Set in 1987 Berlin at the height of the Cold War just before the collapse of the wall. This is the original film to the American remake City of Angels (1998) starring Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage.
Two angels, Damiel and Cassiel, observe life on Earth and the human condition. They’ve been doing this for a very long time and have seen both the best and the worse of mankind. Damiel wants nothing more than to be human – to feel, to touch, to smell, to have emotions. When his wish is granted he also learns that being human has its limitations that are in many ways no different than being immortal. – Written by garykmcd