Over the years, Netflix has consistently helped increase the interest in foreign-language content. Especially with the success of the 2021 South Korean production Squid Game, the streamer has altered its business model to help attract a larger demographic of viewers, trying to tap new countries and users.
Linguistic barriers have often made many viewers shy away from watching foreign content. To quote the acclaimed South Korean auteur, Bong Joon-ho, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
While the director made history with his film Parasite being the first-ever foreign-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, his speech reflects how linguistic barriers have often prevented the osmosis of culture.
However, with the advent of streamers like Netflix who consistently add new titles in languages other than English and shower the incoming flux of foreign-language content with high-level promo and exposure, the global audience’s interests are piqued and they tend to indulge in them.
Across the world, here are the five most popular foreign-language films on Netflix now:
Five most popular foreign-language films on Netflix:
5. Ya Veremos (Pedro Pablo Ibarra, 2018)
This 2018 Mexican comedy has begun dominating Netflix charts worldwide with its heartwarming and bittersweet premise. It stars Mauricio Ochmann, Fernanda Castillo and Emiliano Aramayo in lead roles and had a record second-best film opening of all time in Mexico.
While the film is pretty predictable the emotive idea with a hint of glaucoma added to a blend of troubled marriages and dysfunctional childhood. Before Santi goes for eyesight surgery, he prepares a wishlist for his estranged parents to fulfil which requires them to go on a life-altering trip that teaches them things about family, love and cohabitation.
4. Without Saying Goodbye (Bruno Ascenzo, 2022)
This Spanish romantic comedy has garnered a glut of attention ever since its release. While many have regarded the film as a Peruvian remake of Eat, Pray, Love, the film adopts the stereotypical tropes of a rom-com and juxtaposes it against beautiful locations to uphold the journey of self-discovery and love, with sprinkles of sex, nudity and graphic content.
Ariana and Salvador belong to two completely different worlds and have contrasting ideas, opinions and ideologies. Despite initial disagreement, the duo are forced to spend time with one another while backpacking through Peru and forced to embrace each other’s perspectives for better understanding.
3. In Good Hands (Ketche, 2022)
Netflix’s recent Turkish release deals with mature themes and emotional upheavals in a raw and delicate fashion. Tracing the elements of a mother’s love for her son, a shared troubled past and a cathartic climax, the film is a definite tear-jerker despite some of its somewhat predictive plot points. The beautiful cinematography provides unique escapism as it weaves a tale of parenting, love and destiny.
The film chronicles the tale of a single mother who chances upon her diagnosis of a terminal illness with only a few months to live. To secure a stable life for her son, she seeks help from an affluent man whose entry into their lives soon sends things haywire.
2. Black Crab (Adam Berg, 2022)
This Swedish Netflix Original is currently one of the most popular Netflix Originals and records the fourth Noomi Rapace appearance on Netflix. Rapace, known for Prometheus and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, is brilliant in her role in the film which boasts phenomenal cinematography and scenic locations.
Set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world ravaged by winters and wars, a team of six soldiers embark on a harrowing mission across a frozen sea to deliver an important package that can potentially put an end to the war. Berg’s well-paced little gem records this harrowing and intense journey that oscillates between several timelines.
1. All Hail (Marcos Carnevale, 2022)
Yet another story of self-discovery and acceptance, this Argentinian film has enamoured Netflix viewers globally due to its appealing aesthetics. Starring Guillermo Francella in the lead, the film focuses on a meteorologist whose forecasting is never wrong. However, after a mishap, he loses all his allies and embarks on a spiritually inward journey that is unwaveringly human yet absurd.
Brimming with mystery and spirituality, the film highlights the effects of social media and the popular trend of cancel culture. It examines humanity, morality and the extent of one’s knowledge with its emotional and gripping narrative, the film highlights the moving relationship between a father and daughter while throwing in the correct balance of situational comedy to the mix.