100 Greatest Foreign-Language Films List From BBC Poll

BBC 100 Greatest Foreign-Language Films Poll Result
'Seven Samurai' (1954), 'Bicycle Thieves' (1948) and 'Tokyo Story' (1953) are the top 3 greatest foreign-language films

The British Broadcasting Corporation has published a list of 100 greatest cinemas of foreign languages of all time. 209 film critics from 43 countries was involved generating the list.

For the last three years, BBC Culture, the entertainment wing of the British news giant, had made similar lists of the 100 greatest American cinemas, 100 greatest cinemas of 21st century and 100 greatest comedy films of all time.

This year BBC decided to look outside Hollywood and British film industry, in short the non-English cine world. The 209 member jury board were asked to pick their choices of best films which are not of English language.

The purpose of this initiative was to project that apart from the US and UK film industry, how enriched and diverse the world of other language films are. To maintain neutrality of the listing and to avoid any controversy, BBC engaged film critics from all over the world, from 43 countries to be exact.

The 100 films of the list are of 67 directors, 28 countries and 19 languages. With highest 27 films in the list, French is the topper. Followed by 12 films of Mandarin language and 11 each of Italian and Japanese. On other hand Belarus, Romanian and Wolof language represent 1 film each in the list.

A notable fact of the list is that one-fourth of the 100 films are from East Asia. Japan has 11, China 6, Taiwan 4, Hong Kong 3 and South Korea has 1 film there. Even the topmost film is Japan’s ‘Seven Samurai’ of acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa.

If there is any incompleteness in the top 100 list of foreign language films, then that is the number of female directed movies. Only 4 out of 100 films have woman director or co-director.

At the end, this list once again proved that culture has no boundary, and language can not be an obstacle to enjoy good cinema. May be a film of a specific country represents that particular state’s identity and history, but you will somehow find a link by which you can relate the story, the message with you and your community.

The Full List Of The ‘100 Greatest Foreign-Language Films’ Poll:

1. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
2. Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio de Sica, 1948)
3. Tokyo Story (Yasujirô Ozu, 1953)
4. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
5. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939)
6. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
7. 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini, 1963)
8. The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
9. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)

10. La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960)
11. Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
12. Farewell My Concubine (Chen Kaige, 1993)
13. M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
14. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
15. Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
16. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
17. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 1972)
18. A City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1989)
19. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)
20. The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974)

21. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
22. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006)
23. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928)
24. Battleship Potemkin (Sergei M Eisenstein, 1925)
25. Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)
26. Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988)
27. The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973)
28. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)
29. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
30. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

31. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
32. All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)
33. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
34. Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987)
35. The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963)
36. La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)
37. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
38. A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991)
39. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)
40. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)

41. To Live (Zhang Yimou, 1994)
42. City of God (Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund, 2002)
43. Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
44. Cleo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)
45. L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)
46. Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945)
47. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
48. Viridiana (Luis Buñuel, 1961)48. Viridiana (Luis Buñuel, 1961)
49. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
50. L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)

51. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964)
52. Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966)
53. Late Spring (Yasujirô Ozu, 1949)
54. Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee, 1994)
55. Jules and Jim (François Truffaut, 1962)
56. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994)
57. Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)
58. The Earrings of Madame de… (Max Ophüls, 1953)
59. Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985)
60. Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)

61. Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)
62. Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1973)
63. Spring in a Small Town (Fei Mu, 1948)
64. Three Colours: Blue (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1993)
65. Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955)
66. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973)
67. The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, 1962)
68. Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)
69. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
70. L’Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962)

71. Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai, 1997)
72. Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1952)
73. Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
74. Pierrot Le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
75. Belle de Jour (Luis Buñuel, 1967)
76. Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)
77. The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970)
78. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
79. Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)
80. The Young and the Damned (Luis Buñuel, 1950)

81. Celine and Julie go Boating (Jacques Rivette, 1974)
82. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
83. La Strada (Federico Fellini, 1954)
84. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel, 1972)
85. Umberto D (Vittorio de Sica, 1952)
86. La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)
87. The Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini, 1957)
88. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1939)
89. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
90. Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)

91. Rififi (Jules Dassin, 1955)
92. Scenes from a Marriage (Ingmar Bergman, 1973)
93. Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, 1991)
94. Where Is the Friend’s Home? (Abbas Kiarostami, 1987)
95. Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse, 1955)
96. Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985)
97. Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)
98. In the Heat of the Sun (Jiang Wen, 1994)
99. Ashes and Diamonds (Andrzej Wajda, 1958)
100. Landscape in the Mist (Theo Angelopoulos, 1988)