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 together on one platform. It is important to portray various cultures of the world through cinema, 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, and is 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 is about  the journey of a boy and his love for music. A Mexican family is in the shoe business, but young Miguel wants to pursue a career in music and follow the footsteps of who he believes is his great-great-grandfather, Ernesto, who left the family for his music career. Miguel wants to meet him and chooses the festival of Day of the Dead to compete in a talent show, but he needs a guitar, and steals one from the tomb of Ernesto and is immediately transported to the land of the dead. He becomes cursed and has only until sunrise to return the land of the living. He struggles to find his great-great-grandfather, while searching, he meets Hector who tells him the truth about Ernesto, and enables Miguel to help his family heal from their emotional wounds.

2)  Lost in translation (2003)

This film is directed by Sofia Coppola who has portrayed the subjects of insomnia, loneliness, and existential crisis. Bill Murray stars as Bob Harris and Scarlett Johansson as Charlotte. The film receivedt many Academy Award nominations and each leading actor won a BAFTA Award for their acting. The story is about Bob is an aging actor who is in Japan and Charlotte, 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 than portrayed on television. They both become close but leave each other in the end. It is a comedy-drama with a pinch of romance. 

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. The supporting cast includes, Robert Prosky as Daniel Cristie, Barbara Babcock as Nora Christie, and Thomas Gibson as Stephen Chase. The story is about Joseph and Shannon who are Irish, but want to pursue their lives in American. They receive news about Land Run of 1893 and a chance to have a piece of land in Oklahoma. Joseph attempts suicide after the death of his father but is saved by Shannon and they both leave Ireland together. After their arrival in Boston and they face many difficulties and spend nights on the streets but eventually, they prevail.

4)  Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

It is a Taiwanese comedy-drama movie which was a success at the box office,  and also received praise from the critics. It is directed by Ang Lee received the Best film award at Asia Pacific Film Festival and also received a nomination at Academy Award. The cast includes:  Sihung Lung, Yu-wen Wang, Chien-lien Wu, and Kuei-mei Yang. The story is about a family who share different values and perspectives. One daughter works as a nurse, another works as an airline executive, and the third daughter is a college student. Every Sunday the entire family get together to eat and discuss their lives and gets advice their father. All three daughter get involved in relationships, and their lives change because of it. 

5)  Dances with wolves (1990)

This film is directed and produced by Kevin Costner. It is adapted from a novel of the same name written by Michael Blake. It was released to a very appreciative  audience, as well as to approving critics. 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. The cast includes: Kevin Costner, 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 civil war soldier who travels to the west and meets with the Dakota tribe and falls in love with their way of life, and decides to stay there. The name Dances with wolves name was given to Costner by the tribe because the notice him playing a running and jumping game with a wolf.  But, the events take a change for the worse when union soldiers arrive and now Costner with the help of a tribe must save the land. 

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 in the big leagues but her parents have objections over her choice and do not support her decision. Jess is inspired by David Beckham and in her journey of becoming a footballer defies all the odds and makes it to the top league. 

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 was nominated at Sundance Film Festival and Deauville Film Festival and 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 having great food the restaurant does not perform well and struggles to remain in business. Suddenly, Pascal offers to arrange for the famous Italian singer. Louis Prima, for a night and it gets everyone excited at the restaurant for the 'Big Night' but things don't go as planned.


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 previously mentioned movies are classics of their time showcasing different cultures through their stories.

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