Films provide a vivid window into your travels, especially when their settings shine through as a main character. Such is the case with many of these films—whether biographies or histories, comedies or dramas. We hope these selections will complement your travel experience, inspire your wanderlust and provide a cultural lens through which to view a place.

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Mission Impossible—Rogue Nation (2015)
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
When the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) is disbanded, Ethan Hunt goes after a shadowy and deadly rogue organization called the Syndicate, all on his own.

Woman in Gold (2015)
Director: Simon Curtis
Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government, determined to recover artwork that she believes belongs to her family and find justice for the destruction inflicted by the Nazis.

Before Sunrise (1995)
Director: Richard Linklater
When an American man and French woman meet on a train from Budapest to Vienna, they end up sharing one evening, knowing it will probably be their only night together.

Sound of Music (1965)
Director: Robert Wise
Relive the kindness, understanding and sense of fun that Maria has with Georg Von Trapp’s seven mischievous children.

Forever My Love (1962)
Director: Ernst Marischka
Set in the 19th-century Austrian imperial court, this condensed version of the original “Sissi” trilogy portrays the romance between Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sissi) and Emperor Franz Josef.

The Third Man (1949)
Director: Carol Reed
Set in postwar Vienna, this classic film stars Orson Welles and is based on the novel by Graham Greene.


Ne me quitte pas (2013)
Director: Sabine Lubbe Bakker, Niels van Koevorden
This documentary, comedy, drama is set in the Belgian countryside, a place where time seems to stand still. Bob and Marcel share their sense of humor, their solitude and their craving for alcohol.

The Fifth Estate (2013)
Director: Bill Condon
Based on real events. After gaining access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in US history, Julian Assange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and Daniel Domscheit-Berg (played by Daniel Brühl) are confronted with a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society and what are the costs of exposing them?

In Bruges (2008)
Director: Martin McDonagh
In this comedy-drama starring Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes, two hit men are on a makeshift holiday in Bruges, Belgium, after a hit gone wrong. While awaiting word from their boss, one is interested in sightseeing and the history of the place, while the other can’t wait to escape. Farrell won a Golden Globe for his performance.

Any Way the Wind Blows (2003)
Director: Tom Barman
On a warm day in June, in the Flemish port city of Antwerp, a handful of people with little in common go about their lives, yet they all end up at the same place for a grand party.

If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969)
Director: Mel Stuart
A group of American tourists take an 18-day guided bus tour of nine European countries (from London to Rome) and humor ensues.


The Foreigner (I) (2012)
Director: Niki Iliev
When a Frenchman falls in love with a sassy Bulgarian woman he follows his heart, which leads him to look for her and the village where she lives without knowing the language or the culture.

The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner (2008)
Director: Stephan Komandarev
When a young Bulgarian man living in Germany is in a car accident and loses his memory, his grandfather organizes a spiritual journey to take him back to his past, to the country from where he came. This film was shortlisted for the 2010 Best Foreign Language Film Award. Originally titled Svetat e golyam i spasenie debne otvsyakade.

The Contractor (2007)
Director: Josef Rusnak
Retired CIA Black-Ops hit man James Jackson Dial is asked to take out a terrorist, only to realize he’s been set up by his former employer.

I Am David (2004)
Director: Paul Feig
Twelve-year-old David escapes from a Bulgarian communist concentration camp with little more than a compass, a sealed letter, a loaf of bread and instructions to carry the letter to Copenhagen, Denmark.

Aszparuh (1981)
Director: Ludmil Staikov
This epic screen presentation tells the story of the creation, the consolidation and the power of First Bulgarian Kingdom and the first Bulgarian ruler Khan Asparuh. Originally titled Khan Asparuh.


Same Same But Different (2010)
Director: Detlev Buck
During a post-graduation summer trip to Cambodia, Benjamin Prüfer falls for Sreykeo Solvan. When he returns home to Germany, he discovers that Sreykeo is sick and he takes on the responsibility to save her. This film is based on a true story.

The Sea Wall (2009)
Director: Rithy Panh
An exacerbated widow finds herself troubled when her adult children leave to find their independence, and at the same time, she must try to erect a barrier against the sea to protect her rice fields from flooding. Originally titled Un barrage contre le Pacifique.

Two Brothers (2004)
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
This film follows the adventures of twin tiger cubs that were born among the temple ruins of an exotic jungle. Separated as cubs, the two tigers meet up years later but as forced enemies. Originally titled Deux frères.

City of Ghosts (2003)
Director: Matt Dillon
When an international scam that a con man is involved in goes sour, he flees to mysterious Southeast Asia to get his promised cut.

Lord Jim (1965)
Director: Richard Brooks
James Burke, a distinguished midshipman who rises to the rank of executive officer, is put ashore after a broken foot. After his recovery, Jim signs on as the executive officer of a rusty tub manned by a third-rate crew and a barbarous captain.


Lu cheng (2006)
Director: Yang Chao
Looking for meaning to their lives, two students journey across rural China with the hope of purchasing rare mushrooms to sell back home. Along the way, they are forced to decide whether to continue journeying or continue their education.

The World (2005)
Director: Zhangke Jia
The World, a theme park designed around scaled representations of the world’s famous landmarks, is seen through the eyes of a few of its staff. Originally titled Shijie.

Hero (2002)
Director: Zhang Yimou
Jet Li stars in this visually stunning masterpiece by the director of Raise the Red Lantern. Set in ancient feudal China, this simple tale is rendered in breathtaking color. Originally titled Ying xiong.

In the Mood for Love (2000)
Director: Kar Wai Wong
After suspecting that each of their spouses is having extramarital activities, two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong friendship that they agree to keep platonic. Originally titled Fa yeung nin wa.

The Road Home (1999)
Director: Yimou Zhang
When businessman Luo Yusheng returns to his village from the city for the funeral of his father, he is reminded of the magical story of how his mother and father first met. Originally titled Wo de fu qin mu qin.

Farewell My Concubine (1993)
Director: Chen Kaige
This is a film with two parallel, intertwined stories of two performers in the Beijing Opera and the woman who comes between them. Originally titled Ba wang bie ji.

Shanghai Express (1932)
Director: Josef von Sternberg
This classic film is about Shanghai Lil, a “woman who lives by her wits along the China coast.” During a dangerous train ride to Shanghai, Lil rediscovers a former lover.

Red Sorghum (1988)
Director: Yimou Zhang
A young Chinese woman is sent to marry the undesirable owner of a winery, but falls in love with one of his servants. Originally titled Hong gao liang.

The Last Emperor (1987)
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
This film tells the story of Puyi—from his exalted birth and brief reign in the Forbidden City to his decline and dissolute lifestyle, and, finally, to his obscure existence as a peasant worker in the People’s Republic.


The Illusionist (2006)
Director: Neil Burger
In late 19th-century Vienna, Duchess Sophie von Teschen is reunited with renowned illusionist Eisenheim after 15 years. The duchess and Eisenheim realize that they still love each other, but she is soon to be wed to the Crown Prince Leopold in what would be for him a marriage solely in pursuit of power.

Immortal Beloved (1994)
Director: Bernard Rose
This film looks at the life and death of Ludwig van Beethoven, including a famous love letter Beethoven wrote to a nameless beloved. Ludwig van Beethoven dies and his assistant/friend Schindler proceeds to deal with his last will and testament.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
Director: Philip Kaufman
Just when three intimately close friends are deeply involved with the events of the Prague Spring of 1968, Soviet tanks crush the nonviolent rebels and their lives are changed forever.

Amadeus (1984)
Director: Milos Forman
This is the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his rival Antonio Salieri. Salieri, a devout man who believes his success and talent as a composer are God’s rewards for his piety, wishes he was as good a musician as Mozart and is perplexed as to why God favorites Mozart.

Yentl (1983)
Director: Barbara Streisand
Yentl Mendel is the boyishly klutzy daughter and only child of long-widowed Rebbe Mendel. Rebbe teaches the Talmud to local boys and to Yentl, but secretly because girls were not allowed to learn the law in those days. When her father dies, Yentl disguises herself as a boy in order to get admitted to a yeshiva, to study the texts, traditions, Talmud and more.


Cairo Time (2009)
Director: Ruba Nadda
This romantic drama is about an unexpected love affair that catches a married woman and her husband’s colleague completely off-guard while exploring ancient Egypt by land and by sea.

Mystery of the Nile (2005)
Director: Jordi Llompart
The epic 3,260-mile descent down the world’s greatest river has eluded humankind for centuries – until now. In this documentary, a team of explorers set off to become the first to navigate the Blue Nile from source to sea.


A Long Way Down (2014)
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
When four suicidal strangers find themselves on the same roof on New Year’s Eve, their plans for death are interrupted as they form a bond that helps each of them face the difficulties in their lives.

The Iron Lady (2011)
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
In this biopic, Meryl Streep plays former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, teetering on the edge of reality with dementia and recalling her rise and fall. Streep won an Oscar for her performance.

The Trip (2011)
Director: Michael Winterbottom
When The Observer assigns Steve Coogan to review some of England’s best restaurants, Steve is excited to take his girlfriend along. But when she backs out, Steve reluctantly decides to take his best friend, Rob Brydon.

Atonement (2007)
Director: Joe Wright
Based on the novel by Ian McEwan, this powerful film unfolds over six decades, beginning in the 1930s when a crime with far-reaching consequences is committed. It won a Golden Globe for Best Picture.

The Queen (2006)
Director: Stephen Frears
Dame Helen Mirren turns in an Oscar-winning performance as Queen Elizabeth in this film that profiles the Queen’s attempts to treat Princess Diana’s death as a private family matter.

Gosford Park (2001)
Director: Robert Altman
In this period mystery-drama, co-written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, a dinner party at an English country house is disrupted by a murder, affecting the lives of both the upstairs guests and the downstairs servants. The movie boasts an incredible ensemble cast, including Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi and Clive Owen. Fellowes received a Best Writing Oscar for his contribution.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Director: John Madden
This delightful, romantic comedy-drama depicts an imaginary love affair between the bard and a budding actress who must dress as a man in order to land female roles in the playwright’s productions at the Globe Theater. The film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Gwyneth Paltrow and Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench.

Barry Lyndon (1975)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Regarded as one of Kubrick’s finest, this film tells the story of an Irish rogue who wins over a wealthy widow so he may take her dead husband’s position as an aristocrat in 18th-century England. It offers a fine portrayal of English society and class. The film won four Academy Awards, and Kubrick was nominated for a Best Director Oscar.


Les Miserables (2012)
Director: Tom Hooper
Set in revolutionary Paris, this epic musical retells Victor Hugo’s timeless tale of Jean Valjean, who vows to turn his life of crime around despite being doggedly chased by Inspector Javert. The story culminates as turmoil engulfs Paris, leading to the Paris Uprising of 1832. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway star; Hathaway won an Oscar as Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Midnight in Paris (2011)
Director: Woody Allen
Part romantic comedy, part fantasy, this film follows a screenwriter visiting Paris with his fiancée and her parents. Each night, he finds himself in 1920s Paris salons, meeting the likes of Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds, causing him to reconsider marriage. Scenes include historic sites such as Monet’s Garden, Musée Rodin, the Pont Alexandre III and more. Allen won an Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay; it also was nominated for Academy’s Best Picture of the Year Award.

The Artist (2011)
Director: Michael Hazanavicius
When George Valentin, an older silent film star, meets Peppy Miller, a rising young actress, their instant chemistry and love for acting brings them together. The Artist won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Original Music Score and Best Costume Design.

Sarah’s Key (2010)
Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
This moving and enlightening film traces a modern-day journalist (played by Kristin Scott Thomas) who becomes entangled in the World War II plight of a young girl separated from her family by the Nazi Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup of 1942.

Julie & Julia (2009)
Director: Nora Ephron
With scenes of Paris, including the market stalls of the Rue Mouffetard, and mouthwatering French food, the story of Julia Child’s start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book; stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Streep won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress.

Ratatouille (2007)
Director: Brad Bird
In this delightful animated film from Pixar Animation Studios, Remy the rat will stop at nothing to become one of Paris’s top chefs, befriending a restaurant’s garbage boy to commandeer a kitchen. The movie won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

A Good Year (2006)
Director: Ridley Scott
Based on Peter Mayle’s book A Year in Provence, a workaholic trades his life selling bonds in London to cash in on a winery that was left to him by his dead uncle. With every day of his new life, Max grows out of his obsessive behavior and into a life he comes to embrace. Featuring the charming architecture and landscape of Vaucluse.

Amélie (2001)
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
This romantic comedy traces the life of a timid waitress in Paris’s atmospheric and beautifully captured Montmartre neighborhood as she makes it her mission to help improve the lives of those around her while neglecting her isolated existence. Nominated for five Academy Awards. Originally titled Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain.

Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Referred to by some critics as a “pastiche-jukebox musical,” this lush film follows a young English poet in Belle Epoque Paris as he falls in love with a terminally ill courtesan and cabaret performer in the Montmartre district. The movie stars Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor and won two Academy Awards.

Chocolat (2000)
Director: Lasse Hallström
In this “stranger comes to town” film, Juliette Binoche plays an itinerant chocolatier who opens a confectionary shop in a tiny French village, unleashing the appetites of the townspeople and the wrath of its ultra-conservative mayor. The film skillfully depicts the provincial charms of village life. Filmed, in part, in Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, one of France’s most beautiful villages. Johnny Depp and Judi Dench also star. Nominated for five Academy Awards.

Jean de Florette (1986)
Director: Claude Berri
Based on the two-volume novel by Marcel Pagnol, a greedy landowner and his backward nephew conspire to block the only water source for an adjoining property in order to bankrupt the owner and force him to sell. Filming locations in France include gorgeous Vaucluse, Gard and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The film garnered a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

Manon of the Spring (1986)
Director: Claude Berri
In this sequel to Jean de Florette, featuring Yves Montand, a beautiful shepherdess plots vengeance on the men whose greedy conspiracy to acquire her father’s land caused his death years earlier. Filmed in the Provence region in southeastern France, known for its unique, beautiful landscapes. Originally titled Manon des Sources.

Victor/Victoria (1982)
Director: Blake Edwards
This gender-bending comedy starring Julie Andrews and James Garner tells the story of a struggling 1934 Paris lounge singer who concocts a scheme with her agent to perform as a man who is impersonating a woman. Difficulties ensue when she falls in love with a man. The movie won an Oscar for Original Song and Adaptation Score.

Two for the Road (1967)
Director: Stanley Donen
In this romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney, a married couple takes a road trip to Saint-Tropez, and as they drive through the striking natural landscapes of France, the audience is treated to flashbacks of previous trips that have influenced their relationship. Nominated for one Academy Award and two Golden Globes.

An American in Paris (1991)
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Love abounds when Jerry Mulligan, an American painter in Paris, falls for a young French girl who is already engaged, while an heiress falls for Jerry’s art, and Jerry. This film won multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Color, and more.

Madame Bovary (1951)
Director: Claude Chabrol
After Emma Rouault marries a country doctor, Charles Bovary, and finds herself bored, she seeks out the companionship of multiple men. Scenes include Lyons-la-Forêt, which is listed among the most beautiful villages in France, and Versailles, a city renowned for its châteaux and gardens. Nominated for Academy Award for Best Costume Design.


Monuments Men (2014)
Director: George Clooney
Set during World War II, this film follows a team of art conservationists tasked with saving artwork and other cultural treasures from destruction and theft by the Nazis. The movie has an all-star cast, including Clooney, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett.

North Face (2008)
Director: Philipp Stölzl
Based on a true story, this suspenseful adventure film set in 1936 is about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps—the Eiger. As Nazi propaganda urges the nation’s Alpinists to conquer the Swiss massif, two reluctant German climbers begin their daring ascent.

The Lives of Others (2006)
Director: Florian Henckel-Donnersmarck
It’s 1984 in East Berlin and the population is strictly controlled by the Secret Police. A man who has devoted his life to ferreting out “dangerous” characters is thrown into a quandary when he must investigate a harmless man who is deemed a threat.

Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
Director: Wolfgang Becker
Filmed largely in Berlin, this must-see film set in 1990 tells the story of a young man who works to protect his fragile, ailing mother from the fatal shock of learning that East Germany, the country she knows and loves, no longer exists.

Wings of Desire (1987)
Director: Wim Wenders
In this beautiful fantasy film, immortal, invisible angels in Berlin listen to the inner thoughts of the city’s citizens and provide comfort to the distressed. When one angel falls in love with a female trapeze artist, he chooses to become human so he can experience human feelings.

Memories of Berlin: The Twilight of Weimar Culture (1976)
Director: Gary Conklin
This fascinating documentary profiles the cultural richness of Berlin during the Weimar Republic through interviews with the city’s renowned writers, composers and artists.

Cabaret (1972)
Director: Bob Fosse
This classic film starring Liza Minnelli and Michael York dramatizes the life of a Berlin nightclub singer who is romancing two men as the Nazis rise to power in Germany. Fosse won an Oscar for Best Director; Minnelli and Joel Grey won Oscars and Golden Globes for their performances; and the movie won five Oscars including Best Cinematography and Music, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Picture.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
Director: Martin Ritt
In this spy movie based on the John Le Carré novel, Richard Burton plays a British agent sent into East Germany to plant damning information about an intelligence officer.


Heavenly Shift (2013)
Director: Márk Bodzsár
Set in Budapest, this film offers insights into the everyday lives of a remarkable ambulance crew. Originally titled Isteni müszak.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
During the cold war in the early 1970s when an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes terribly wrong, the head of British Intelligence, Control, resigns. It is believed one of four senior figures in the service was a Russian agent, a mole. Espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover the Soviet agent within MI6.

Bolse Vita (1996)
Director: Ibolya Fekete
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, three young Russians arrive in Budapest seeking their fortunes in this revealing portrait of life after Communism.

Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story (1985)
Director: Lamont Johnson
Based on a true story, this film tells the story about Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish banker and diplomat, who saved more than 100,000 Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust while living in Budapest.

Mephisto (1981)
Director: István Szabó
A German stage actor finds unusual success in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany and finds that his best performance is keeping up appearances for his Nazi patrons.


Amour Fou (2014)
Director: Jessica Hausner
When young poet Heinrich cannot convince his skeptical cousin, Marie, to join him in a suicide pact he makes a subsequent offer to Henriette, the wife of a business acquaintance. Henriette is not interested until she discovers she is suffering from a terminal illness.

Hannah Arendt (2013)
Director: Margarethe von Trotta
This film tells the story of Hannah Arendt, the political theorist and philosopher who reported on the trial of the notorious Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann.

Tip Top (2013)
Director: Serge Bozon
This detective comedy film was adapted from Bill James’ novel of the same name. Two urban female internal affairs inspectors join the police department of a small village to investigate the murder of an Algerian man who was an informant.

Another Woman’s Life (2012)
Director: Sylvie Testud
This is the story of a woman who wakes up one morning having forgotten 10 years of her life. She wakes up thinking she’s in the beginning of a romance, which, in reality, is ending, and she discovers she is the mother of a young boy. Originally titled La vie d'une autre.

The Giants (2011)
Director: Bouli Lanners
While two teenagers are spending the summer in their deceased grandfather’s home and waiting for their busy mother, they decide to rent the house out to a local drug dealer to make some money. But things don’t go as planned. Originally titled Les géants.


They Call It Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain (2012)
Director: Robert H. Lieberman
This unique documentary was filmed over a two year period and offers a rare look into the second most isolated country on the planet. Includes an interview with Aung San Suu Kyi and stunning footage of Burmese life.

The Lady (2011)
Director: Luc Besson
This is the story of the peaceful quest of the woman who is at the core of Burma’s democracy movement, Aung San Suu Kyi. The Lady is an epic love story of devotion and human understanding.

Beyond Rangoon (1995)
Director: John Boorman
When a woman tries to gain strength and move forward after her husband and son are murdered, she goes on vacation with her sister to Burma. After losing her passport at a political rally, she is left on her own for a few days, during which time she falls in with students fighting for democracy.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Director: David Lean
Set during World War II, this film tells the story of British prisoners who are ordered to build a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway.

The Burmese Harp (1956)
Director: Kon Ichikawa
Set in World War II. Mizushima, a soldier in the Japanese army in Burma, is asked by the British to convince a Japanese troop to surrender. Unsuccessful, Mizushima becomes a Buddhist monk and travels the countryside to bury the remains of Japanese soldiers. Originally titled Biruma no tategoto.


Admiral (2015)
Director: Roel Reiné
This action, adventure biography revolves around real-life figure Michiel de Ruyter, one of the greatest innovators in combat engineering of the 17th century. When The Netherlands is on the brink of civil war and is attacked by England, France and Germany, only one man, Michiel de Ruyter, can lead the country’s strongest weapon, the Dutch fleet. Originally titled Michiel de Ruyter.

Tim’s Vermeer (2013)
Director: Teller
In this documentary, inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer after becoming fascinated with the 17th-century Dutch painter.

Nightwatching (2007)
Director: Peter Greenaway
This film tells the dramatic story of Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch. After Rembrandt (played by Martin Freeman) stumbles on a murderous cabal of merchants, he paints their secrets into his work.

Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
Director: Peter Webber
This film tells the story about a young peasant maid who becomes a secret model for one of Johannes Vermeer’s most famous works Girl with a Pearl Earring.

The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
Director: George Stevens
This film is set entirely in an attic in Amsterdam where Anne Frank experiences her first love and tries to live through the war with her family. Nominated for eight Oscars and winning three, the film remains an enduring classic.

Lust for Life (1956)
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Kirk Douglas stars as Vincent van Gogh in this film adaptation by the great Vincente Minnelli, filmed on location in The Netherlands and France.

Steady! (1952)
Director: Herman van der Horst
This short documentary is about the reconstruction of Rotterdam, following the city’s destruction by the Nazis in the Rotterdam Blitz. Originally titled Houen zo!


Ida (2013)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, this road movie has been called a masterpiece of Polish cinema. It follows a young woman on the verge of taking vows as a Catholic nun, only to discover her parents were Jewish.

Wałęsa: Man of Hope. (2013)
Director: Andrzej Wajda
This biopic of Lech Wałęsa follows the ascendancy of a humble electrician at the Gdańsk Shipyard from demonstrator to president of Poland, and examines the influence his rise to power had on other regions of Europe.

Forgiveness (2008)
Director: Mariusz Kotowski
Also screened under the title Esther’s Diary, this dramatic Holocaust film follows the adult daughters of two women who were best friends in 1940s Poland, but were later separated by Nazi horrors. One daughter learns of the past from her mother’s diary.

Jakob the Liar (1999)
Director: Peter Kassovitz
Set in a wartime Polish ghetto, this film stars Robin Williams as a shopkeeper who spreads hope among the imprisoned community by fabricating tales about approaching Allied advances, claiming he has heard such stories on his secret radio.

The Deluge (1974)
Director: Jerzy Hoffman
Hailed as one of the most popular movies in the history of Polish cinema, this film is based on the 1886 novel that recounts the thwarted Swedish invasion of Poland-Lithuania from 1655 to 1658.

Wesele (1973)
Director: Andrzej Wajda
This film, set at the turn of the 20th century, focuses on the wedding between a poet from Kraków and a peasant girl. Their ceremony turns into an examination of the century-long division of Poland under Russia, Prussia and Austria.


Mysteries of Lisbon (2010)
Director: Raoul Ruiz
This highly acclaimed movie traces the adventures of a jealous countess, a rich businessman and a young orphaned boy as they travel across Portugal, France, Italy and to Brazil.

Genealogies of a Crime (1997)
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Catherine Deneuve stars in this suspenseful drama about a lawyer who agrees to defend her dead son’s friend in a murder case that involves a bizarre psychoanalytic society.

The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (1978)
Director: Margarethe von Trotta
This German film follows a desperate woman who robs a bank and then flees to Portugal, hoping a friend will help her.

The Last Run (1971)
Director: Richard Fleischer
George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst star in this story of a career criminal wanting to retire in the Portuguese fishing village of Albufeira. Reluctantly, he takes one last job: driving an escaped killer across Spain into France.

Lisbon (1956)
Director: Ray Milland
Ray Milland and Maureen O’Hara star in this suspenseful yarn about a smuggling ring and a wealthy husband imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain. This atmospheric crime movie was shot on location in Lisbon, providing scenes of the city at mid-century.

The Holy Queen (1947)
Directors: Henrique Campos, Anibal Contreiras and Rafael Gil
One of many popular 1940s Spanish costume films, this historic drama portrays the life of Isabel of Aragon, the Spanish-born 14th-century queen of Portugal who rectified peace among different parties of the Portuguese court. Originally titled Reina Santa.


Bucharest Non Stop (2015)
Director: Dan Chisu
This film, set in a neighborhood of Bucharest, conveys the stories of everyday people in extraordinary situations. Originally titled Bucuresti Non Stop.

The Happiest Girl in the World (2009)
Director: Radu Jude
When a young Romanian girl wins a beautiful new car in a contest organized by a soft-drinks company, she travels to Bucharest with her parents to collect her prize. But Delia and her parents have different ideas about what to do with the new car. Originally titled Cea mai fericita fata din lume.

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)
Director: Cristi Puiu
When 63-year-old Mr. Lazarescu feels ill and calls an ambulance the paramedic thinks he should take him to one hospital and then another, and another. Mr. Lazarescu’s health begins to deteriorate fast as the night unfolds. Originally titled Moartea domnului Lazarescu.

The Oak (1992)
Director: Lucian Pintilie
This story follows Nela, a daughter of a former Secret Police. After refusing to become an agent of the Securitate and after her father dies, Nela leaves Bucharest and ends up in a small town, where she meets a surgeon who has the same disposition as she does. Originally titled Balanta.

Uncle Marin, the Billionaire (1979)
Director: Sergiu Nicolaescu
When Romanian peasant Nea Marin visits a friend who works at a hotel on the Black Sea, he is mistaken for Mr. Juvett, a rich American businessman who is being followed by the American mob. Mr. Juvett, on the other hand, is mistaken for Nea Marin. Hilarity ensues. Originally titled Nea Marin miliardar.

Michael the Brave (1970)
Director: Sergiu Nicolaescu
Depicting the reign of Mihai Pätrascu (Michael the Brave), this film features large scale battle scenes mixed with political intrigues, treachery and family drama. Originally titled Mihai Viteazul.


The Hermitage Revealed (2014)
Director: Margy Kinmonth
This fascinating film depicts the real-life story behind the magnificent art collection of one of the world’s greatest art museums.

Anna Karenina (2012)
Director: Joe Wright
Tom Stoppard adapted this screenplay from the famed Leo Tolstoy novel that is so central to Russia’s rich culture. Keira Knightley stars as the Russian aristocrat and statesman’s wife who has an affair with wealthy officer Count Vronsky, with tragic results.

Reds (1981)
Director: Warren Beatty
An epic film starring Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton, this saga recounts the events leading up to the Russian Revolution. It is brilliantly interspersed with interviews of witnesses to the uprising. Beatty won an Oscar for Best Directing.

Rasputin the Mad Monk (1966)
Director: Don Sharp
This fictional account of the famed Russian peasant and mystic, played by Christopher Lee, is loosely based on the accounts of Prince Yusupov, who is thought to have murdered the Romanov confidant in his St. Petersburg palace.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Director: David Lean
Based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, this epic drama-romance starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie unfolds as World War I and the Russian Revolution are brewing. It earned Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture, Director, Actor, Screenplay and Original Score; and is tied with Love Story, The Godfather, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and A Star Is Born for the most wins by a film.

Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Director: S.M. Eisenstein
In this silent film, the crew members of the titled warship rise up against their officers of the tsarist regime. It has been called one of the greatest propaganda films of all time, providing a look at pre-Soviet Russia.


Next to Me (2015)
Director: Steven Filipovic
Olja, a high school history teacher, is attacked by a group of masked hooligans after her husband’s latest paint exhibition provokes violent reactions from Serbian nationalists. Soon after, Olja learns that some of her students were responsible for the attack. Originally titled Pored mene.

No One’s Child (2014)
Director: Vuk Rsumovic
When a boy is found in the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina nobody knows how he ended up in the mountains or who raised him. Originally titled Nicije dete.

See You in Montevideo (2014)
Director: Dragan Bjelogrlic
When a football team from Belgrade gets the opportunity to go to the First World Football Championship things get complicated along the way. Originally titled Montevideo, vidimo se!

Circles (2013)
Director: Srdan Golubovic
Twelve years after five people were affected by a tragic heroic act, they must confront the past and overcome frustrations, guilt and urges of revenge. Originally titled Krugovi.

My Beautiful Country (2013)
Director: Michaela Kezele
This film shows how love can grow in a time of hatred. When a young Serbian widow with two sons finds a wounded Albanian soldier on the run and in her home she takes him in and nurses him back to health. Originally titled Die Brücke am Ibar.

When Day Breaks (2012)
Director: Goran Paskaljevic
When a metal box containing documents is found where once stood a Nazi concentration camp for Jews during World War II, Misha Brankov, a retired music professor, discovers that his real parents gave him away to their friends just before they were taken into the camp. Originally titled Kad svane dan.


Eva Nová (2015)
Director: Marko Skop
Once a famous actress, Eva is now trying to stay sober and desperate to make amends with her estranged son. This film touches on the importance of giving people second chances.

Lea (1997)
Director: Ivan Fíla
Herbert Strehlow, 51, falls in love with Lea, 21, who bears a striking resemblance to his dead wife and who has not spoken a word since childhood. Despite their obstacles, they get married and begin to realize that they are bound by a spiritual relationship.

The Peacemaker (1997)
Director: Mimi Leder
Nuclear expert Dr. Julia Kelly and Special Operations Intelligence Officer Colonel Thomas Devoe must unravel a conspiracy that goes from Europe to New York.

The Garden (1995)
Director: Martin Sulik
After Jakub’s life reaches a dead end he leaves his job and begins to argue with his father. Finding solitude in the countryside, in his grandfather’s old garden, Jakub falls in love with an angel. Originally titled Záhrada.

The Shop on Main Street (1965)
Director: Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos
Slovakia during WW2. After authorities offer Tono the responsibility of taking over the Jewish widow Lautman’s little shop for sewing material he accepts, and Tono and Lautman form a bond. But later the authorities decide that the Jews must leave the city. Originally titled Obchod na korze.


Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012)
Director: Philip Kaufman
This textured film chronicles the tumultuous relationship and then marriage between Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, played by Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman. Much of it is set during the Spanish Civil War, when they worked side by side as war correspondents.

The Way (2010)
Director: Emilio Estevez
A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died walking the Camino de Santiago, or “The Way of Saint James,” and decides to take the pilgrimage himself. What he doesn’t expect is the profound impact the journey will have on him.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Director: Woody Allen
While on a summer holiday in Spain, girlfriends Vicky (Penelope Cruz) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) take a tour of wildly romantic Barcelona and become enamored with the same painter (Javier Bardem), unaware that his tempestuous ex-wife is about to re-enter the picture. Cruz won an Oscar for her performance, and the film won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture.

El Greco (2007)
Director: Yannis Smaragdis
In this biographical film, El Greco—the Greek painter who became a genius of the Spanish Renaissance—writes his life story as he awaits execution by the Spanish Inquisition. There are nice touches of history and a rich sense of place in this film.

Alatriste (2006)
Director: Ed Dubrowsky
This documentary showcases Salamanca, a rich jewel in a region that has played a significant role in the cultural history of Spain and in world history.

Spanish Narration – Salamanca: The Heart of Spain’s Golden Age (2004)
Director: Cédric Klapisch
This French-Spanish film is the first in a trilogy that focuses on Xavier, a young economics student who travels to Barcelona for a European exchange program. Xavier finds an apartment with six international students and is immersed into a cultural melting pot.

L’Auberge Espagnole (2002)
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
When two men, Benigno and Marco, meet at the clinic where Benigno works, an unsuspected destiny begins. Marco’s girlfriend, a bullfighter, has been gored and is in a coma, while Benigno is also looking after another woman who is in a coma. Originally titled Hable con ella.

Talk to Her (2002)
Director: Agustín Díaz Yanes
This historically sweeping film depicts 17th-century Spain during the Eighty Years’ War, when soldier-mercenary Captain Alatriste, played by Viggo Mortensen, fights for the Spanish empire and his king, Philip IV.

All About My Mother (1999)
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
In this comedy-drama, a nurse who oversees organ transplants loses her son to a car crash. To break the news to the boy’s father, whom he never knew, she journeys to Barcelona, revisiting colorful characters from her old life and meeting new ones along the way. The film won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

Land and Freedom (1995)
Director: Ken Loach
In the spring of 1936, a young unemployed journalist leaves his hometown of Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. The film won two Cannes Film Festival awards.

Man of La Mancha (1972)
Director: Arthur Hiller
Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren star in this film adaptation of the much-loved musical. In this “play within a play,” Cervantes casts himself as the mad and wandering errant-knight Don Quixote, enlisting fellow prisoners to play supporting roles as he awaits trial with the Spanish Inquisition.

El Cid (1961)
Director: Anthony Mann
Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren star in this sweeping story of the Christian Castilian knight who wins the allegiance of the Moors during the Spanish Reconquest, only to be accused of treason by the Spanish crown. Nominated for three Academy Awards.


Only God Forgives (2013)
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
A prosperous drug smuggler in Bangkok’s criminal underworld is about to have his world turned upside down when his mother wants him to avenge his brother’s death.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Director: Beeban Kidron
This story picks up four weeks after the first film. Now that Bridget Jones is in love, she begins to question if what she has is everything she’s dreamed of having.

The Beach (2000)
Director: Danny Boyle
Richard, a nicotine-addicted traveler, finds a map in a Bangkok hotel that supposedly leads to a legendary island paradise where some other wayward souls have settled.

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Director: Guy Hamilton
James Bond is called in to investigate the death of a scientist working on a powerful solar cell and finds himself chasing down famed assassin Francisco Scaramanga. In Bangkok, “007” is captured and placed in a dojo.

Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
Director: Michael Anderson, John Farrow
This adventure comedy is an adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel about a Victorian Englishman who bets that with the new railways and steamships, he can go around the world in 80 days.


The Quiet American (2002)
Director: Phillip Noyce
Michael Caine stars as a British journalist stationed in Vietnam in the 1950s who becomes friends with a seemingly harmless American (Brendan Fraser).

The Vertical Ray of the Sun (2000)
Director: Tran Anh Hung
Beautiful from start to finish, this film follows three sisters, two of whom are happily married, or so it appears. Originally titled Mua he chieu thang dung.

Three Seasons (1999)
Director: Tony Bui
As characters in this film come to terms with the past, present and future of Ho Chi Minh City, their paths begin to merge.

Heaven & Earth (1993)
Director: Oliver Stone
Based on a true story, this film follows the life of a Buddhist Vietnamese peasant girl who survives a life of suffering and hardship during and after the Vietnam War.

Indochine (1992)
Director: Régis Wargnier
This film is set in 1930, when French colonial rule in Indochina is ending. An unmarried French woman and her adopted daughter, a Vietnamese princess, both fall in love with a young French navy officer.

The Lover (1992)
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Set in 1929 during French colonial rule in Vietnam, a French teenage girl catches the eye of a wealthy Chinese businessman. A torrid affair ensues despite class restrictions and social mores. Originally titled L'amant.

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Director: Barry Levinson
When an unorthodox and irreverent DJ is stationed in Vietnam to bring humor to Armed Forces Radio, he begins to shake things up.