It’s true that American filmmaking inspired a global appreciation of the cinematic art form, but it’s impossible to deny the international influence on film by important auteurs from countries around the globe. With the inclusion of Federico Fellini, Luis Buñuel, Costa-Gavras, François Truffaut, Akira Kurosawa, Pedro Almodóvar, and countless others, this list of essential films from non-English-speaking countries proves that American filmmaking has taken inspiration from countless artists working in many languages. Spotlighting just one film per year in the last half-century, here’s our list of 50 foreign-language films any true movie buff should see.
1963: 8 ½ (dir. Federico Fellini)
Fellini’s mind-bending drama about a stressed-out film director attempting to ease his creative block as well as his relationships with the numerous women that surround him is the perfect title to kick off this list, as it’s one of the greatest films of all time.