A momentous moment occurred last Sunday, with 'Parasite' winning an Oscar for best film. For the first time in 92 years, a non-English speaking movie has won an oscar for best film. For all the non-movie buffs, this is a big deal. Many people are rejoicing about the win because it's a celebration of diversity after the academy neglecting many other powerful performances from women and people of color. It's been a big topic of discussion for a while with many people even boycotting the Oscars with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. So, as you can tell, this is a big deal and it's a gate opened for all the other foreign filmmakers. Now, this wasn't an easy trip for Bong Joon-ho by any means. It's taken a lot of work and a lot of years for America to get to the place where they would recognize a movie made in another language.
Now's the time to start digging and look into foreign directors and foreign films, and I'm not talking about French films (which I'm not saying they're not good) but Eastern Asian films, Russian films, Middle-Eastern films, and many more. I think my favorite part of my discovery process is the fact that I'm being exposed to so many more cultures. I was raised on watching Indian movies and was more accustomed to seeing the tropes in those movies than in American movies. Not saying I was woefully oblivious to movies that were around me but it was from friends and people I met that would let me know of what Americans I should be watching. At home, I would have to force my family to turn on an English-speaking movie.
Please note that this was probably the best thing that happened to me. I was almost always reading subtitles and I learned a new language simply from watching movies. I've later thanked the fact that I was raised this way seeing the fact that I'm much more receptive to different cultures and different filming styles. Listening to one type of narrative is what enforces stereotypes, being able to see different stories and in places that are different than what is the 'expected' image is what makes these films so powerful. Media has the power to change how we see people and only seeing people of color or minorities in a certain light is what makes us think that they fit into one mold. The problem isn't that a stereotype isn't true, the problem is that it's not the only truth. It's our job to educate ourselves and expose ourselves to these issues.
With that being said, I've started watching Korean shows, looked into European films, and still keep up with Indian movies. I'm very biased but I definitely think you should start with Indian films. I have a list you can start with.
Enjoy this opportunity and watch all the critically acclaimed films of every region and then maybe narrow it down to country. Or maybe just start with watching the Oscar winner 'Parasite" and see what happens from there. Good luck and hopefully you'll realize the importance of diversity in the film industry.