What Movie About Your Region Would You Recommend?

Photo: Flickr user Michael Gebert / CC 2.0

Photo: Flickr user Michael Gebert / CC 2.0

This 2016, why not expand your movie horizons beyond mainstream Hollywood or even Bollywood?

We at Global Voices are a diverse community, with members from all over the world. Often, movies produced in the countries we're from don't make it onto international festivals’ shortlists, and the rest of the movie-going world doesn't ever hear about them…

Let's try and change that! We're looking to compile a list of movies that would provide a little window into the regions where our GV community members are from. Think of it this way:

What movie would you recommend to someone who's about to travel to your country and is looking to get to know it a little better?

We're particularly looking for countries’ whose cinema isn't widely known abroad — but even if you're from a place like Iran or Mexico, whose cinema is famous internationally, you're welcome to participate! But try to think about a movie that a foreign cinephile probably hasn't heard of.

It doesn't have to be a recent production: be it from the 1950's or last year, what's important is that it's a good film!

We'll collect all the responses in a post and publish on the Global Voices main site. The deadline is Sunday, December 29.

To contribute, please share a few lines in a comment below this post, stating:

  • Your name
  • Where you live (city, country)
  • Movie title, its year and country
  • Short synopsis (two-line maximum)
  • Why you recommend it
  • If possible, a screenshot of the movie
  • If the movie is available to stream online, a link to that


  • From Venezuela, “La distancia más larga” (The Longest Distance, 2014) tells the story of a 10 year old boy who travels to La Gran Sabana to meet his grandmother and rebuild family ties. The film touches family relationships, redemption and freedom to live how and when you choose, and it takes us from urban, turbulent Caracas to the top of Mount Roraima, showing the best and the worst of Venezuela and its people.

    Trailer (Spanish. English subs): http://www.ladistanciamaslarga.com/

  • There is a movie I simply recommend to anyone who likes to have a good laugh: “Destiny has no favorites”, produced and released in 2003. Very briefly, in her dull boredom, wealthy Ana follows the shooting of a sopa opera being shot in her house from her window, and gets involved in it in funny ways.
    On a more serious side, there is also “Magallanes”, released in 2015. It’s competing for the Spanish Goya Awars. Magallanes, currently a taxi driver in Lima, is a former army soldier who revives past and gloomy memories from his deployment in Ayacucho, in times when violence was the daily norm in that Peruvian region.

  • Juke Carolina

    Hi Taisza! Great theme, great initiative! I’d love to chip in some ideas.

    This is Carolina from GV Lingua Indonesian. I’m based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

    After the fall of New Order regime there are some Indonesian great movies that were too taboo for the regime. There are some blockbuster sequels such as the Raid 1&2, and documentary such as 40 Years of Silence and Jagal. Although most pop Indonesian films consists of love stories, tragicomedy and religious drama (Yup! It’s a thing in this country), there are some noteworthy stuffs to watch.

    Here goes my shortlisted favorites:

    Denias, Senandung di Atas Awan (Denias, a hum above the clouds, 2006, Indonesia). Full movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEoRSlCGBnA
    A boy’s struggle for education in remote Papua. Beautiful people, beautiful land.

    Berbagi Suami (Love For Share/Partage Ton Mari, 2006, Indonesia) trailer:
    A film about polygamy, a common practice in Indonesia.

    Lovely Man (2010, Indonesia) trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xT1HtxPNwE
    A pious woman is searching for her estranged father. She found him living as a transgender prostitute in Jakarta. A rare LGBT themed movie.

    Sang Penari (The Dancer, 2011, Indonesia) trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo9B_xPyc6k
    A love story between a Javanese dancer and an officer in the 1960s during one of the most trying times in Indonesia after its independenc.

    Mata Tertutup (Blindfolded, 2011, Indonesia). Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZVyNKXMvBM
    A movie about radicalism in the country.

    Sokola Rimba (Jungle School, 2013 , Indonesia) trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_zKyLPKAtQ
    Based from a book written by a teacher called who dedicated her life improving the live of nomadic forest people in Jambi, Sumatra.

    Tabula Rasa (2014, Indonesia) trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw79OUP08aE
    A wannabe athlete from Papua flunked his tryout in the capital. He then tasted a signature dish in a humble restaurant. Impressed by the food, he learned to become a cook to help the struggling restaurant. A memorable line from this movie: “A Padang restaurant, yet our chef is a Papuan”. It’s a light drama, with lotsa food, mixed languages, and different cultures of Indonesia. But mostly, this movie made me crave Padang food afterwards. :)

    Other noteworthy mentions:
    Janji Joni (Joni’s promise, 2005, Indonesia) — light-hearted movie, awesome OST, packed with (then) up and coming musicians.

    Negeri Tanpa Telinga (Land Without Ears, 2013, Indonesia) — a political satire.

  • Fabiano Post

    Hello everyone!

    My recommendation is the film “Ilha das Flores”, 1989, Brazil.
    The short film is a satire treated seriously. It tells the story of a “rotten tomato” that is discarded in a landfill on the outskirts of Porto Alegre, called Ilha das Flores. Foods that are intended for feeding pigs are consumed by people who live there.



    The focus is the damage man causes the environment which this film demonstrates through of the waste and excesses of modern consumer society. After almost thirty years the film is still very relevant. Thirteen minutes to think about.

  • Firuzeh

    Puerto Rico:

    “La operación” (The Operation) (1982): La Operación is a 1982 short documentary film by Ana María García about US-imposed sterilization policies in Puerto Rico, exploring the mass sterilization of Puerto Rican women during the 50s and 60s. This island has the highest rate of sterilization in the world. Over one-third of its women have undergone what is commonly referred to as “La operación” (The Operation).

    “Maldeamores” (“Lovesickness”) (2007): Puerto Rican film starring Luis Guzmán, written by Carlos Ruiz Ruiz and Jorge Gonzales, and directed by Ruiz and Mariem Pérez Riera. The film consists of three separate stories dealing with the ironies of love. The three stories involve a middle-class family, a hostage situation, and an elderly couple.

    “Dios los cría” (1979): Puerto Rican film directed by Jacobo Morales.

  • I live in Santiago, Chile
    From Mexico I would recommend: “La Ley de Herodes” (Herod’s Law), 1999.
    The fable of a janitor turned Mayor on a little town lost in the Mexican desert, who gradually realizes how far his new acquainted power and corruption can get him.
    The title of ”Herod’s Law” refers to a governing principle of political life in Mexico (and not only there) that can be delicately rendered as Do it to them before they do it to you. A good portray of today’s state of affairs in the country.

    From Chile I would recomment: “No”, 2012
    In 1988, Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, due to international pressure, is forced to call a plebiscite on his presidency. The country will vote YES or NO to Pinochet extending his rule for another eight years. Opposition leaders for the NO persuade a brash young advertising executive, Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal), to spearhead their campaign. Against all odds, with scant resources and under scrutiny by the despot’s minions, Saavedra and his team devise an audacious plan to win the election and set Chile free. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NOY_LxTAIg

  • Raphael Tsavkko Garcia

    From Cambodia : “Don’t think I’ve forgotten: Cambodians lost rock and roll”, about the rock music movement during the 60’s and 70’s before the arrival of the Khmer Rouge.

  • Juliana Harsianti

    Hi, It’s Juliana from Lingua – Global Voices Indonesia, based in Jakarta – Bandung

    My recommendation are
    Epic Java (2014)
    At the beginning, Febian Nurrahman Satyanegara wants to documented his journey through Java Island. He had made some short video about his travel experience and reflection about Java and upload in YouTube, he decide to compile the entire video into a new movie about the mystical journey about human and nature, as well as show the beauty of Java. The non-narative movies has been win several award, nationally and internationally.
    Trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybwOOSt8Ur0

    Siti (2015)
    Just awarded as The Best Movie at Indonesian Film Festival, Siti told the story about a young wife and her psychological problem, a problem that relatively common in rural area. She has to forced work as karaoke hostes in Parangtritis Beach (a tourism place in Jogjakarta) in order to her family. This movie also won Best Script Writer at Shanghai International Film Festival

    More news about Siti : http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/11/24/black-and-white-movie-siti-named-indonesias-best-film.html
    Trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UXI5ppGo94

  • An Australian indigenous musical:

    Bran Nue Dae (2009 Set in Western Australia)

    Young, star-cross’d lovers are separated. Willie, an Aborigine at boarding school in Perth in 1969, dreams of reuniting with his sweetheart Rosie back in Broome.

    This indigenous Shakespearean-style comedy is all fun as well as a great road trip on WA’s coast.

    My full film review, Bran Nue Dae Blazes and trailer are on my cinema blog.

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