5 Must-Watch English Movies Set In Foreign Countries That Xenophiles Will Love

5 Must-Watch English Movies Set In Foreign Countries That Xenophiles Will Love

A xenophile is a person who is attracted to all things foreign - people, cultures, and customs. If you are a xenophile, then you will love watching these 5 English movies that are set in foreign countries, and give a glimpse into that country's culture, life, and people.

While there are thousands of English movies that are set in various countries all over the world, not all of them show much about the culture of those locations. Some are simple love stories, like Letters to Juliet, some may be rom-coms, like Leap Year, and many others are more focused on fantasy than the place's actual culture, like The Great Wall and The Forbidden Kingdom. There are also full-fledged action movie series based in different foreign locations, like The Fast and Furious series, or the Bourne series.

I am not touching any of those movies in this article. This is only about movies that ACTUALLY show something about a foreign place's culture. So here are 5 such must-watch movies for all xenophiles.

5 Must-Watch English Movies Set In Foreign Countries That Xenophiles Will Love

Listed below are 5 brilliant movies for all the xenophiles among you. If you love learning about foreign people and their culture through movies, then you will fall in love with these. I have made a mix of genres here - comedy, romance, action, drama - they're all in here.

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  1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel series (2011/2015)

    For seven strangers, this is just the beginning of an exotic adventure.

    5 Must-Watch English Movies Set In Foreign Countries That Xenophiles Will Love: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

    Seven British retirees come across an online ad of a newly restored hotel for elderlies, called "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". Impressed by the ad, they decide to "outsource" their retirement to this luxurious, but inexpensive, seniors facility, on the outskirts of Jaipur, India. On their arrival, however, they find that it is not so luxurious after all. But their host, the young and optimistic Sonny (Dev Patel), makes up in charm for what the hotel lacks.

    At first, they are all overwhelmed by everything... the "loud" people of this country, the spicy meals, and of course, the dilapidated hotel, but soon, they are completely taken over by Sonny's exuberance and India's vibrancy. We watch them adjust to their new reality, even as Sonny deals with his own personal issues. And somewhere along the line, many different stories get entwined.

    Watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and its sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, on Amazon Prime Video.

  2. The Last Samurai (2003)

    In the face of an enemy, in the Heart of One Man, Lies the Soul of a Warrior.

    5 Must-Watch English Movies Set In Foreign Countries That Xenophiles Will Love: The Last Samurai

    Set in the 1870s, in Japan, The Last Samurai tells the story of Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) - a cynical veteran of the American Civil war and an American military advisor, who is hired by the Emperor of Japan, to train his peasant army in modern warfare using firearms. The traditional Imperial Samurai warriors, however, reject this Westernization and use of firearms, even as they remain loyal to the sacred dynasty.

    When the ill-prepared army is slaughtered by the sword-wielding Samurais, Algren's life is spared by the Samurai leader Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe), because of his courageous stand in the battlefield. As a prisoner of the Samurais, Algren recovers from his injuries, and also learns about their traditions and code of honor. He finally ends up embracing the very same Samurai culture that he was hired to destroy.

    Watch The Last Samurai on Amazon Prime Video.

  3. A Walk in the Clouds (1995)

    A man in search. A woman in need. A story of fate.

    5 Must-Watch English Movies Set In Foreign Countries That Xenophiles Will Love: A Walk In The Clouds

    Paul Sutton (Keanu Reeves) is a young, married, US military soldier. On his way home after World War II, he meets a girl, Victoria Aragon (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón), who is terrified to go home to her strict and conservative Mexican family, because she knows they will never approve of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

    Paul offers to help her by posing as her husband until things calm down, after which, he would leave. But during his stay at their place, he not only wins her family's hearts, but also hers, at the same time, falling in love with their customs, and with her. Unfortunately, he is still married. Will fate intervene to bring them together?

    Watch A Walk in the Clouds on Amazon Prime Video.

  4. Hidalgo (2004)

    Unbridled. Unbroken. Unbeaten.

    5 Must-Watch English Movies Set In Foreign Countries That Xenophiles Will Love: Hidalgo

    Frank T. Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen), a cowboy and dispatch-rider for the U.S. cavalry, was "the greatest rider the West had ever known". But the East was known for its centuries-old, 3000-mile, race for survival across the Arabian desert - "the Ocean of Fire" - a challenge in which only the finest and noblest Arabian horses ever participated, horses owned by some of the most royal families.

    So they don't take too kindly to the American cowboy who claims that his mustang, Hidalgo, can compete against the world's purest thoroughbred Arabian horses and Bedouin riders. For Frank, this race was not just about money or honor, but about his very survival, and that of his spirited horse, as they try to make their way through the unknown and hostile Arabian desert, and attempt the impossible.

    Watch Hidalgo on Amazon Prime Video.

  5. Queen of Katwe (2016)

    One girl's triumphant path to becoming a chess champion.

    5 Must-Watch English Movies Set In Foreign Countries That Xenophiles Will Love: Queen Of Katwe

    Katwe is a small slum in Kampala, Uganda, and the Queen of Katwe is the story of 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) who lives with her mother and siblings in these slums. It is a distressing portrayal of her family's daily struggles with poverty, until she goes to a missionary program and meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), who teaches the local kids how to play soccer and chess.

    Under Katende's tutelage, Phiona goes on to become a top chess player. But, as you know, it's never so easy to leave your past behind. You have to really fight for what you want. And this movie is all about Phiona's fight, about how she steals her destiny from the shackles of poverty and despair in the slums of Uganda.

    Watch Queen of Katwe on Amazon Prime Video.

So this was my list of 5 most-recommended English movies, set in foreign countries, that all xenophiles will love watching. These movies are not just based in different countries, but they also give a glimpse into the life and people of those foreign locations.

There are many more such movies. I will keep adding them to this list gradually.

Do you love watching English movies that show the cultures of foreign lands? Which of these have you seen before? Which other English movies would you recommend for xenophiles?

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