Different Cultures Through The Movies

Posted on 7 Nov 00:00



Cinema is a bonding spectrum that connects people from different backgrounds and brings them on one platform. It is important to portray various cultures of the world through cinema as it grabs a lot of eyeballs and it is an appropriate way to reflect the different perspectives of different cultures.

1.  Coco (2017)

Coco is an animated movie produced by Pixar animation studios and it is directed by Lee Unkrich based on an original concept by him. It did receive major appreciation after the release and became 15th highest-grossing animated movie ever and 11th highest-grossing movie for the year 2017. It won many awards including; two Academy Awards for the best-animated feature and the best original song, moreover, it won the best-animated movie at the BAFTA Awards and Golden Globe Awards as well. For the voice-over artists the services of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía and Edward James Olmos were hired. The story displays the journey of a boy and his love for music. The plot takes place in a Mexican family who are into shoe business but Miguel wants to pursue a career in music and follow the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather, who left the family for his music career. Miguel wanted to meet him and chose the festival of Day of the Dead where got trap only had the time till sunrise to return the land of the living. He struggles to find his great-great-grandfather but when he came across he was not related to him instead Hector was his relative and Miguel shared all the story with the family and got the family to forgive and bless him. It is an amazing classic movie to watch and learn about the culture for movie buffs that is available on DVDs.

2.  Lost in Translation (2003)

 It expresses the culture shock which is a great way to entice the audience and Lost in translation exactly did that. It is directed by Sofia Coppola who has portrayed the subjects of insomnia, loneliness, and existential crisis. In the main lead, it has Bill Murray as Bob Harris and Scarlett Johansson as Charlotte. It has got many nominations in Academy Awards but each leading actor won a BAFTA Award for their acting. The story revolves around their lives, Bob is an aging actor who is in Japan and Charlotte is a graduate. They both meet in the hotel of a Japanese hotel and both are going through a relationship crisis with their partners. They hang around the city exploring the culture of Japan and discover how different it is then shown and heard on Tv. They both get closed but had to leave each other in the end. It is a comedy-drama with a pinch of romance in. For a movie buff, it is a treat and a classic way to understand a different culture.

3.  Far and Away (1992)

It is a classic movie encompassing romance, drama, and adventure. It is directed by Ron Howard and stars Tom Cruise as Joseph and Nicole Kidman as Shannon in the main lead. For the supporting cast, it has Robert Prosky as Daniel Cristie, Barbara Babcock as Nora Christie, and Thomas Gibson as Stephen Chase. The storyline is of Joseph and Shannon who are Irish but wants to pursue their lives on American soil and got the news about Land Run of 1893 and a chance to have a piece of land in Oklahoma. Joseph tries to suicide after the death of his father but got saved by Shannon and they both escape Ireland together. After their arrival in Boston and they had to face many difficulties and spend nights on the streets but Christie’s family also come to avail the opportunity and they all went to try their luck but Daniel’s bad intentions made Joseph fell behind in the race. Joseph gets injured in the course but the affection brought Shannon close to him and stays with him and gets the land.  A classic way to present culture with love, movie buffs are going to love this movie.

4.  Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

It is a Taiwanese comedy-drama movie which was a success at the cinemas and also received appreciation from the critics. It is directed by Ang Lee and this movie has received Best film award at Asia Pacific Film Festival and also received a nomination at Academy Award. The cast of the movie comprises of Sihung Lung, Yu-wen Wang, Chien-lien Wu, and Kuei-mei Yang. The story is about a family different from each other in respect of values and perspectives. One daughter works as a nurse, other works as an airline executive and the third one is a college student. Every Sunday the whole family gets together to eat and discuss their lives and gets advice from the father as the father knows the best style. All three daughter gets into different relationships and their lives change with it. It is a nice movie to enjoy for movie buffs on a DVD.

5.  Dances with Wolves (1990)

A movie considers being a reviving element of the western genre in Hollywood.  It is a whole experience of a western movie directed and produced by Kevin Costner. It is adapted from a novel of the same name written by Michael Blake. This movie was released was much appreciated by the audience and the critics and it was a huge success and became the fourth highest-grossing movie of 1990. It was nominated for twelve categories at Academy Awards and seven of them and also won a Golden Globe Award. In the cast, it has Kevin Costner himself as Lt. John, Mary McDonnell as Stands With A Fist, Graham Greene as Kicking Bird, and Rodney A. Grant as Wind in his hair. The plot is about a story of a civil war soldier who travels to the west and meets with the Dakota tribe and fells in love with living and simplicity and decides to stay there. The dances with wolves name was given to Costner by the tribe as they like him but the events take a change when union soldiers arrive and how Costner with the help of a tribe saves the land. The movie does take you back in time and helps in understanding western culture vs Indian culture and their values. it is a good movie to watch for movie buffs and it is also available on DVDs.

6.  Bend it like Beckham (2002)

This movie explores the culture of South-Asian particularly Sikhs. It is a family-drama movie based on a sporting journey. The movie is written and directed by Gurinder Chadha and the cast includes Parminder Nagra as Jasminder, Keira Knightley as Juliette, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Joe, Anupam Kher as Mohaan Singh, Juliet Stevenson as Paula, Shaznay Lewis as Marlena and Archie Panjabi as Pinky. The plot of the movie is about Jasminder who is 18 years old and has a passion for football and wants to play it in the big league but her parents have objections over her choice and do not support her decisions. Jess is inspired by David Beckham and in her journey of becoming a footballer defy all the odds and makes it to the top league. The movie takes a viewer into another cultural depth and helps in knowing about the brown lives.

7.  Big Night (1996)

It is a comedy-drama movie exploring Italian culture. It is co-directed by Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci. It was a success worldwide and received a lot of appreciation and also got nominated at Sundance Film Festival and Deauville Film Festival perhaps the movie won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for its direction. The cast of the movie is Minnie Driver as Phyllis, Ian Holm as Pascal, Isabella Rossellini as Gabriella, Tony Shalhoub as Primo, and Stanley Tucci as Secondo. The story is about two brothers Primo and Secondo who are immigrants from Italy. Primo is an amazing chef and wants his dishes to be perfect and Secondo is an entrepreneur who does not want to work for anyone but runs their restaurant. Despite being the great food the restaurant does not perform well and struggling to be in a business and suddenly Pascal offers to arrange the famous Italian Singer Louis Prima for a night and it gets everyone excited at the restaurant for Big Night but it turns out to be a trick to fool the brothers and Louis was never invited. The movie is beautifully picturized and explores the lives of Italians and culture and it is a nice watch on a DVD.


Cinema is the best source to highlight and display various cultures of the world that can bring harmony among the people and an understanding of each other lives. The mentioned movies are classics of their time showcasing different cultures through stories.

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