french movies to see

There’s nothing quite like watching a great movie: cozying up on your couch with a warm blanket, in your pyjamas with a bowl of popcorn and maybe a nice glass of wine. If you want to broaden your horizon and watch award-winning movies that aren’t Hollywood films, we’ve compiled a list of 14 French movies from all over the world that can help you learn more about the cultures from these countries.

Yes, people don’t only speak French in France. You’ll learn about the Quebec workman, the Algerian independence movement, and the immigrant crisis in France. All these French movies tell beautiful stories about their country’s history or their current social, political, or economic realities. Let us know which one you watch!

1Guelwaar (1993)

Guelwaar is a French/Senegalese political drama about the death of Pierre Henri “Guelwaar”, a Catholic man in a mostly Islamic country, who many suspects was assassinated. Pierre Henri constantly criticised the current regime and had radical political beliefs that many didn’t agree with. After the body is stolen, Detective Gora investigates and learns that this political man was more complicated than people might have believed. You’ll learn about modern (at least, the Senegal of 25 years ago) Senegal and how the Islamic and Catholic Senegalese live side by side, and how any controversy can immediately divide these two religions into segregated identities. It won The President of the Italian Senate’s Gold Medal at the 49th Venice International Film Festival.

2La Haine (1995)

This black and white drama film is about the life of three 20 something friends from immigrant families living in very impoverished housing projects in a suburb of Paris. A riot erupts and Vinz, who is Jewish, wants revenge by killing a policeman since his friend, Abdel, was struck by a policeman and died. After Vinz finds a .44 Magnum revolver left behind by a policeman, and with his friends, Hubert (an African-French boxer and drug dealer) and Saïd (an Arab Maghrebi) go to Paris after running into trouble with police officers but find even more trouble in Paris. This troubling story is a real depiction of the violence and hostility between police and immigrants from poor neighbourhoods. This movie won numerous awards at the Cannes Film Festival, the César Awards, and other film ceremonies from Europe.

3Tabataba (1988)

This Malagasy-French film chronicles the story of a village during the 1947 independence uprising in Madagascar. Since Madagascar used to be a French colony, the 1947 uprising was a very important event in this country’s history. The Malagasy revolted against the French causing lot of bloodshed mostly from the French because of their arrests, various kinds of torture, and fires against the people of the country. In the film, Solo is too young to fight but his brother and other people from the village join in the revolt. Unfortunately, things don’t go very well. If you love history and you want to learn more about the political history of Madagascar.