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Five foreign movies everyone should see

1. La Ley de Hérodes (Eng: Herod’s Law) – A tragicomic fable of Mexican politics. An eager-beaver party no-body gets tapped to replace a corrupt provincial governor and bring the beleaguered locals “development and social justice.” Shenanigans ensue when the naif’s ideals begin to slip. He ends badly (or does he?).

2. Kung fu (Eng: Kung Fu Hustle) – An unlucky wanna-be Shanghai gangster ends up caught between a form-dancing hatchet gang and the residents of a slum who turn out to be not as helpless as they appear. People fly around, kung fu magic ensues, and things happen that you never, ever expect.

3. Nueve Reinas (Eng: Nine Queens) – A young man meets an experienced Buenos Aires confidence man who shows him the ropes. They’re soon gunning for the big con: Passing off a set of nine stamps to a Spaniard for a sizable amount of money. Double-crosses ensue, etc.

4. El Laberinto del Fauno (Eng: Pan’s Labyrinth) – Nominated for six Oscars in 2007, won three. Set during the time of the Spanish Civil War, a little girl caught between her brutal military father and her ailing mother escapes into a fantasy world in the countryside. Beautiful, haunting, informative (you thought Europeans were civilized?). Sadness ensues.

5. Le Placard (Eng: The Closet) – Sad-sack office drone learns he is about to be fired. The only way to keep his job is to make people think he’s a homosexual. Shenanigans ensue. This movie should be shown in University drama clinics as an absolute perfect modern execution of a comedy (that is, comedy as in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” not “Twins”).

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