Foreign-Language Oscar Winners

Foreign-Language Oscar Winners

24 Episodes

A cross section of the last seven decades of international cinema, this lineup of past winners of the Academy Award for best foreign-language film includes masterpieces by titans like Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, and Luis Buñuel; hot-button political thrillers ripped from the headlines in Greece and Argentina; high-water marks of the Czechoslovak New Wave; a Soviet epic of unparalleled scale; and, of course, a handful of left-field surprises (it is the Academy Awards, after all). 

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Foreign-Language Oscar Winners
  • Rashomon

    Episode 1

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa • 1950 • Japan
    Starring Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori

    A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, RASHOMON is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accou...

  • Gate of Hell

    Episode 2

    Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa • 1953 • Japan

    A winner of Academy Awards for best foreign-language film and best costume design, Gate of Hell is a visually sumptuous, psychologically penetrating work from Teinosuke Kinugasa. In the midst of epic, violent intrigue in twelfth-century Japan, an imp...

  • La strada

    Episode 3

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1954 • Italy

    There has never been a face quite like that of Giulietta Masina. Her husband, the legendary Federico Fellini, directs her as Gelsomina in La strada, the film that launched them both to international stardom. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the e...

  • Nights of Cabiria

    Episode 4

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1957 • Italy
    Starring Giulietta Masina, François Périer

    Giulietta Masina won Best Actress at Cannes as the title character of one of Fellini’s most haunting films. Oscar winner for best foreign-language film, NIGHTS OF CABIRIA (LE NOTTI DI CABIRIA) is the tragic st...

  • Mon oncle

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jacques Tati • 1958 • France, Italy

    Slapstick prevails again when Jacques Tati's eccentric, old-fashioned hero, Monsieur Hulot, is set loose in Villa Arpel, the geometric, oppressively ultramodern home of his brother-in-law, and in the antiseptic plastic hose factory where he gets a ...

  • Black Orpheus

    Episode 6

    Directed by Marcel Camus • 1959 • Brazil, France

    Winner of both the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or, Marcel Camus' Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) brings the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to the twentieth-century madness of Carnival...

  • The Virgin Spring

    Episode 7

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman • 1960 • Sweden

    Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Ingmar Bergman's THE VIRGIN SPRING is a harrowing tale of faith, revenge, and savagery in medieval Sweden. Starring frequent Bergman collaborator and screen icon Max von Sydow, the film is both...

  • Through a Glass Darkly

    Episode 8

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman • 1961 • Sweden

    While vacationing on a remote island retreat, a family's already fragile ties are tested when daughter Karin (Harriet Andersson) discovers her father has been using her schizophrenia for his own literary means. As she drifts in and out of lucidity, the ...

  • 8½
    2:19:11
    Episode 9

    Episode 9

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1963 • Italy

    Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (Otto e mezzo) turns one man's artistic crisis into a grand...

  • The Shop on Main Street

    Episode 10

    Directed by Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos • 1965 • Czechoslovakia
    Starring Idá Kaminská, Josef Kroner, František Zvarík

    An inept Slovak peasant is torn between greed and guilt when the Nazi-backed bosses of his town appoint him “Aryan controller” of an old Jewish widow’s button shop. Humor and traged...

  • Closely Watched Trains

    Episode 11

    Directed by Jiří Menzel • 1966 • Czechoslovakia
    Starring Václav Neckář, Josef Somr, Vlastimil Brodský

    At a village railway station in occupied Czechoslovakia, a bumbling dispatcher’s apprentice longs to liberate himself from his virginity. Oblivious to the war and the resistance that surrounds h...

  • WAR AND PEACE: Part 1

    Episode 12

    ANDREI BOLKONSKY
    Directed by Sergei Bondarchuk • 1966 • Soviet Union

    At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic tome in which the fates o...

  • WAR AND PEACE: Part 2

    Episode 13

    NATASHA ROSTOVA
    Directed by Sergei Bondarchuk • 1966 • Soviet Union

    At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic tome in which the fates of...

  • WAR AND PEACE: Part 3

    Episode 14

    THE YEAR 1812
    Directed by Sergei Bondarchuk • 1967 • Soviet Union

    At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic tome in which the fates of t...

  • WAR AND PEACE: Part 4

    Episode 15

    PIERRE BEZUKHOV
    Directed by Sergei Bondarchuk • 1967 • Soviet Union

    At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic tome in which the fates of...

  • Z
    2:07:12
    Z
    Episode 16

    Z

    Episode 16

    Directed by Costa-Gavras • 1969 • Algeria, France

    A pulse-pounding political thriller, Greek expatriate director Costa-Gavras's Z was one of the cinematic sensations of the late sixties, and remains among the most vital dispatches from that hallowed era of filmmaking. This Academy Award winner -...

  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

    Episode 17

    Directed by Luis Buñuel • 1972 • France
    Starring Fernando Rey, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Paul Frankeur

    In Luis Buñuel’s deliciously satiric masterpiece, an upper-class sextet sits down to dinner but never eats, their attempts continually thwarted by a vaudevillian mixture of events both actual and ima...

  • Amarcord
    2:03:49
    Episode 18

    Amarcord

    Episode 18

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1973 • France, Italy

    This carnivalesque portrait of provincial Italy during the fascist period, the most personal film from Federico Fellini, satirizes the director's youth and turns daily life into a circus of social rituals, adolescent desires, male fantasies,...

  • Dersu Uzala

    Episode 19

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa • 1975 • Soviet Union, Japan

    The Russian army sends an explorer on an expedition to the snowy Siberian wilderness where he makes friends with a seasoned local hunter.

  • The Tin Drum

    Episode 20

    Directed by Volker Schlöndorff • 1979 • Germany

    Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. While the chaotic world around him careens toward the madness...

  • FANNY AND ALEXANDER: Theatrical Version

    Episode 21

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman • 1982 • Sweden

    Through the eyes of ten-year-old Alexander, we witness the delights and conflicts of the Ekdahl family, a sprawling bourgeois clan in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Sweden. Ingmar Bergman intended Fanny and Alexander as his swan song, and it is the leg...

  • The Official Story

    Episode 22

    Directed by Luis Puenzo • 1985 • Argentina
    Starring Héctor Alterio, Norma Aleandro, Chunchuna Villafañe

    The aftereffects of Argentina's Dirty War-during which tens of thousands of civilians were murdered under the military dictatorship-hit close to home for the wife of a government official as s...

  • Babette’s Feast

    Episode 23

    Directed by Gabriel Axel • 1987 • Denmark

    At once a rousing paean to artistic creation, a delicate evocation of divine grace, and the ultimate film about food, the Oscar-winning BABETTE’S FEAST is a deeply beloved treasure of cinema. Directed by Gabriel Axel and adapted from a story by Isak Di...

  • The Great Beauty

    Episode 24

    Directed by Paolo Sorrentino • 2013 • Italy

    For decades, journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the glittering nightlife of Rome. Since the legendary success of his only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and elite social circles. But on h...