5 Unique Foreign Films About Love

Juliette Perks

Juliette Perks

Writer | Content Creator

Looking for something a little different to watch this Valentine’s Day?

Well don’t worry because the team at Screen Bunny has you covered! Prepare to broaden your horizons and step into the world of foreign film.

We’ve handpicked our top foreign flicks that explore the notion of love. Be warned though, not every creator’s version of love is as you’d expect, and not every film offers your typical happy ending…

Breathless

Breathless

(1960)

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Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Country of origin: France

Why watch it? Born in the time of the incredibly influential French New Wave, Breathless tells the story of a criminal who reunites with an American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy. The film was Godard’s first feature-length work and is worth watching just to appreciate how ahead of its time it really was. From a stylistic standpoint, Godard’s filming techniques were bold and his unintentional use of rough jump cuts and conscious long shots added to the thrilling storyline. Breathless is overdramatic and a great take on the tragic love story trope.

Chungking Express

Chungking Express

(1994)

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Director: Kar-Wai Wong

Country of origin: Hong Kong

Why watch it? Chungking Express offers a mesmerising display of unrequited love, as two melancholy Hong Kong policemen become lovesick; one with a mysterious female underworld figure and the other with a snack bar worker. Chungking Express is a film for film lovers who will appreciate the rhythmic visuals, popping colours, and its depiction of the fast-paced Hong Kong through blurred motions and lively cinematography. The film is an immersive and enjoyable experience which shares the disconnections and loneliness that love can bring.

Cinema Paradiso

Cinema Paradiso

(1988)

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Director: Giuseppe Tornatore

Country of origin: Italy

Why watch it? Cinema Paradiso is a heartfelt story about romance between a young boy and the movies, as well as love in the form of an unexpected friendship between the cynical projectionist and the young boy who sneaks into the booth. Set in a post-war Italy, it’s a moving display of history, nostalgia and bonding, and a complete love letter to the cinema. Cinema Paradiso is a classic which’ll have you blubbering into your tissue, with one of the most profound concluding montages we’ve ever come across.

in the mood for love

in the mood for love

(2000)

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Director: Kar-Wai Wong

Country of origin: Hong Kong

Why watch it? In the Mood for Love is a story of two neighbours who form a strong bond after suspecting their spouses are both having an affair. As they slowly develop feelings for each other, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongdoings. This is one of the most stunning and striking romance films to come, with elegant and captivating performances from the two leads, Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung. In the Mood for Love is a visual splendour of desire, yearning, and loneliness that places an emphasis on the intricate details, from Cheung’s floral silk dresses, to the stolen looks behind doorways and in the shadows. The use of colour and the enchanting soundtrack further set the tone of the story too, pulling audiences right into the thick of the narrative. In the Mood for Love is truly sublime.

Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth

(2006)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Country of origin: Mexico | Spain

Why watch it? Pan’s Labyrinth is an epic fairy tale set in Spain, five years after the Spanish Civil War. In this eerie fantasy world, love is one of the central themes that motivates the many characters, particularly our lead actress, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero). Ofelia encounters an overgrown and abandoned labyrinth, inhabited by a mysterious faun creature who leads her through various trials. The film is a wondrous display of creativity and imagination from writer and director del Toro, combining the use of animatronics and CGI to bring its equally terrifying and intriguing creatures to life. What makes it one of the most special additions to our list is how love underpins the entire story, even when it’s wrapped up in darkness; love is seen through the lack of concern or love from Ofelia’s stepfather and how this is matched against Ofelia’s desire to go through adversity to unite her family. We recommend getting lost in this story over and over again.

That concludes our collection of foreign films that explore the theme of love! You didn’t think we’d keep this one conventional did you?! We hope you enjoy experiencing these films for the first time, or if we’ve reminded you to re-watch an old favourite.

 If you’re still looking for that warm and fuzzy romance movie, then why not try watching something from our list of 20 Must-See Rom-Coms

⬇️ Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and let us know what you’ll be watching first! ⬇️

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