A Film for Every Country?

  • Afghanistan | Osama
  • Algeria |Viva Laldjerie
  • Andorra
  • Angola | Sambizanga
  • Antigua and Barbuda | No Seed
  • Argentina | Burnt Money
  • Armenia |
  • Australia | A Japanese Story / or Rabbit-Proof Fence
  • Austria | Antares
  • Azerbaijan | Son of Mary / or Wishing for Seven Sons and One Daughter
  • Bahamas | Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Bahrain | Za'er
  • Bangladesh | The Clay Bird
  • Barbados | A Caribbean Mystery
  • Belarus | Chernobyl Heart
  • Belgium | Rosetta
  • Belize | Mosquito Coast
  • Benin
  • Bhutan | Travellers and Magicians
  • Bolivia | Cuestion de Fe
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina | No Man's Land
  • Botswana
  • Brazil | Central Station
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria | The Grey Zone
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia | Tomb Raider
  • Cameroon | Afrique, Je Te Plumerai
  • Canada:
  • > Alberta | Waydowntown
  • > British Colombia | The Sweet Hereafter
  • > Manitoba |
  • > New Brunswick |
  • > Newfoundland & Labrador |
  • > Northwest Territories |
  • > Nova Scotia | Marion Bridge
  • > Ontario |
  • > Quebec | Afterglow
  • > Saskatchewan |
  • > Yukon Territories |
  • Cape Verde | Testamento do Senhor Napumoceno, O
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad | Abouna
  • Chile | The Motorcycle Diaries
  • China | Not One Less
  • Colombia | Maria Full of Grace
  • Comoros
  • Congo | Lumumba
  • Cook Islands | The Other Side of Heaven
  • Costa Rica | Tropix
  • Cote d'Ivoire | Black and White in Color
  • Croatia | Harrison's Flowers
  • Cuba | Strawberry and Chocolate
  • Cyprus | Othello (1981 BBC)
  • Czech Republic | Zelary
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea | Rushing to Sunshine
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark | Babette's Feast
  • Djibouti | Beau Travail, Le Grand Moussa
  • Dominica | Pirates of the Caribbean II
  • Dominican Republic | Red Passport
  • Ecuador | Cronicas
  • Egypt | El Mansi
  • El Salvador | Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea | White Hotel
  • Estonia | City Unplugged / or Beauty of the Fatherland
  • Ethiopia | Harvest: 3000 Years
  • Fiji | Cast Away (not!!)
  • Finland | The Man Without a Past
  • France | The Dreamlife of Angels
  • Gabon | Dôlè
  • Gambia
  • Georgia | Since Otar Left
  • Germany | Run Lola Run
  • Ghana
  • Greece | Zorba the Greek
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala | El Norte
  • Guinea | Conakry Kas: The Conakry People
  • Guinea-Bissau | Po Di Sangui
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Holy See (Vatican City)
  • Honduras | Anita la Cazadora de Insectos (Anita the Insect Hunter)
  • Hong Kong | Chinese Box
  • Hungary | Werckmeister Harmonies
  • Iceland | 101 Reykjavík
  • India | Monsoon Wedding
  • Indonesia | Telegram
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of) | The Color of Paradise, Gabbeh
  • Iraq | Al-Nahr
  • Ireland | The Secret of Roan Inish
  • Israel | Devarim
  • Italy | Taming of the Shrew or Stealing Beauty
  • Jamaica | The Harder They Come
  • Japan | After Life (no, but it's great and I wanted to think about it a while)
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan | Qijan
  • Kenya | Metamo
  • Kiribati
  • Kuwait | Bas Ya Bahr
  • Kyrgyzstan | Ak Keme (The White Boat)
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon | L'ombre De La Ville (In the Shadows of the City)
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia | Min
  • Maldives
  • Mali | Bàttu, Yeelen
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania | La Vie Sur Terre (Life on Earth)
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico | Amores Perros
  • Micronesia
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia | Shine Jil (The New Year)
  • Morocco | Raja (any votes for Tarfaya?)
  • Mozambique | O Gotejar Da Luz (Light Drops)
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal | Himalaya
  • Netherlands | Soldier of Orange
  • New Zealand | Whale Hunter
  • Nicaragua | La Isla De Los Ninos Perdidos (The Island of Lost Children)
  • Niger
  • Nigeria | Kasarmu Ce (This Land is Ours)
  • Niue
  • Norway | Buddy
  • Oman
  • Pakistan | Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters)
  • Palau
  • Palestine | Haifa
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea | In a Savage Land
  • Paraguay
  • Peru | Caidos del Cielo (Out of the Clear Blue Sky)
  • Philippines | Ina, Kapatid, Anak (Mother, Sister, Daughter)
  • Poland
  • Portugal | Abraham Valley
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Korea
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal | Toubab Bi
  • Serbia and Montenegro
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Somalia
  • Spain | Carol's Journey
  • Sri Lanka | Flying with one Wing
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden | Fucking Amal (Show me Love)
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic | Lovers of the Rain Line
  • Taiwan | Bu Jian
  • Tajikistan | Live Containers
  • Thailand
  • The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Tibet | The Horse Thief
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia | Silences of the Palace
  • Turkey | Ararat
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda | General Idi Amin Dada
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland:
  • > England | Howard's End / or Notting Hill
  • > Northern Ireland |
  • > Scotland | Local Hero
  • > Wales | Hedd Wyn
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • Uruguay | 25 Watts
  • Uzbekistan | Hack Workers
  • Vanuatu | Kasis Road
  • Venezuela | Huelepega (Glue Sniffer)
  • Viet Nam | The Quiet American (there's something better, I'm sure)
  • Yemen | Rules of Engagement
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe | Flame
Author Comments: 

Like the "film for every state" list, this is a revelatory sort of list -- the films that really grab me visually or otherwise, in a way that makes me want to be there and see the country for myself.

In early stages of progress... obviously. The Canada breakdown might not remain.

I'd say the Lord of the Rings movies made me want to visit New Zealand.

You'll find a useful list of films at imdb, browse database by country. The Variety International Film Guide covers a lot of countries' films annually. I agree about your choice for Belgium, but hardly any others (of those i've seen anyway)! From Armenia, The Colour of Pomegranates is an absolute masterpiece. For Greece, Angelopoulos is the top director. From Japan, the 3 best films by the masters Mizoguchi, Ozu and Kurosawa are Sansho the Bailiff, Tokyo Story, Seven Samurai respectively (in my opinion). In the meantime, here are some recommendations (more on an earlier list i did):

Estonia: Darkness in Tallinn
Iran: Close Up (loads of goodies; one of the great film countries!)
Mali: Yeelen
Mongolia: Story of the Weeping Camel
Portugal: Abraham Valley
Russia: Andrei Rublev/ Mirror
Spain: Spirit of the Beehive
Tunisia: Silences of the Palace

Wow, thanks!! These are great! I've seen Andrei Rublev and Close-Up, but the others are new to me. I found a great db of African/Asian/Latin American film here: http://www.3continents.com/cinema/infos_diverses/eng_panama.html

And just started working on this today, so I'm very, very open to suggestions. Thanks again!

I've heard elsewhere that Iran is one of the 'great film countries' right now, but so far I haven't quite grokked Iranian film's importance. Of course, it doesn't help that I've only seen two Iranian films (The Wind Will Carry Us and Crimson Gold, which I thought were quite good but probably not 'masterpieces'). What, to you, makes Iran a 'great film country'?

Well the amount of recent films whose intelligence, wisdom and humanity puts most in Britain and the US to shame. I've found the quality consistently high- all above average- even if only a minority have been truly outstanding. Of course the weaker ones are less likely to become available here, but still it's a pretty remarkable achievement and gives the lie to most Western political propaganda. And it's interesting that such a "repressive patriarchal society" has easily outdone Hollywood in its percentage of top female directors (i've asterisked the women). It must surely be the world's current #1 country for films about children. A major theme is the blurring of reality + fiction/illusion, with the film-making process itself often to the fore.

Some more for you to try:
Gabbeh/ A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
Close Up/ And Life Goes On/ The Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami)
The White Balloon/ The Circle (Panahi)
Bashu the Little Stranger (Beiza'i)
The Apple/ Blackboards/ At Five in the Afternoon (Samira Makhmalbaf)*
The House is Black (Farrokhzad)*
The Day I Became a Woman (Meshkini)*
The Colour of Paradise (Majidi)

I'm looking forward to seeing classics like The Cow (Mehrjui), Still Life (Saless), Prince Ehtejab (Farmanara), Nargess (Bani-Etemad)*..

Yesterday the latest episode of Dan Cruickshank's magnificent BBC TV series Around the World in 80 Treasures was on the silk road, spent quite a bit of time in Iran- and an incredible eye-opening experience it was too. So many great buildings and cultural treasures we neglect in that region. Do these people really deserve to be slaughtered, and their country smashed up, as part of an evil axis? I think not!

Does it seem like the average Iranian film is better than the average U.S. film?

Um... no.

It does to me, since I've only seen one Iranian film (Close-Up), and I thought it was fantastic.

OK, are these films set in these countries, or also could be films produced in these countries? Either way, I'll throw a few suggestions into the ring:

Jamaica/The Harder They Come

Mexico/Amores Perros

Turkey/Ararat: I know you have this one listed under Armenia, but the areas that the Armenian Genocide occured in were (and still are) Turkish. Even Ararat, the national symbol for Armenians, is over the border in Turkey.

Uganda/General Idi Amin Dada: You might not consider documentaries, but this one is pretty damn incredible.

Johnny Waco

I'm open to movies produced outside the country, but would prefer local production where possible. Thanks for the Ararat correction... my goof for trying to sketch this out online.

Because it's the country with the best name ever, I will point out the ONLY film on IMDB that's listed under Djibouti - Le Grand Moussa.

You could do the UK countries separate
England - Withnail & I
Scotland - Trainspotting

Iceland - 101 Reykjavík

Actually Ararat reminds of several other genocide-themed films (what a light-hearted theme, huh?):

Cambodia/The Killing Fields

Rwanda/Hotel Rwanda

Greece/Ulysses' Gaze: Involves film history and genocide. A great film.

I know you have movies on a couple of these countries, but I thought I'd give you some more options.

Johnny Waco

Some more not yet covered:

Hungary- Werckmeister Harmonies
Nepal- Himalaya
Netherlands- Soldier of Orange
Scotland- Local Hero
South Korea-
Tibet- The Horse Thief
Wales- Hedd Wyn