I thought about this after seeing an article about SFF books from around the world. I think I've seen a film filmed in or made in every country I've visited, and even though those based on true stories are fictional to varying degrees, get insights from the films I wouldn't otherwise. And there's always truth in fiction. Whether I've been to the various countries or not, I think seeing such a range of films over the years has helped me become broader-minded.
Departures: A beautiful, moving and occasionally funny insight into 'moving on', about a cellist who takes a job preparing dead for funerals.
The Breadwinner: Set in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban in 2001. All things I knew about, but when I see them put to characters and a story - even animated - the horrible reality seems to hit home even more. But even in such horrible situations, humanity often shines through.
The Golden Dream: Three children from Guatemala try to reach the US via Mexico.
I, Daniel Blake: I've experienced the British benefits system and found this film depressingly realistic. One scene in particular broke my heart. Raining Stones is another Ken Loach film that portrays how decent people - often because they love their family (particuarly their children) - can end up in desperate situations.
Leave No Trace: The realities of trying to live in America's wilderness. I don't quite know how it did it to me, but it turned out to be one of my very favourite films.
Directed by Yôjirô Takita. With Masahiro Motoki, Ryôko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kazuko Yoshiyuki. A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.
Directed by Nora Twomey. With Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Noorin Gulamgaus, Laara Sadiq. In 2001, Afghanistan is under the control of the Taliban. When her father is captured, a determined young girl disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.
Directed by Diego Quemada-Díez. With Brandon López, Rodolfo Domínguez, Karen Martínez, Carlos Chajon. A road movie about teenage immigrants and their journey to the U.S.
Directed by Ken Loach, Laura Obiols. With Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Sharon Percy, Briana Shann. After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance.
Directed by Debra Granik. With Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster, Jeffery Rifflard, Derek John Drescher. A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.