Netflix is on a bit of an international kick. In the last year, the service has produced nearly 10 foreign language series and movies, and it’s in various stages of development for new Spanish, Indian, and Italian programs. As of last week, Netflix officially boasts more international subscribers than U.S. subscribers, finally proving once and for all that there might be more people in the world than there are in America.
But all this news obscures the fact that Netflix already offers a huge trove of foreign language television and film. And while you may be familiar with some of the more successful overseas hits like Amelie, Y Tu Mama También, Oldboy, Blue is the Warmest Color, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and Ip Man (all of which are fantastic and worth watching), there are plenty more you should check out. So, thanks to a great suggestion from one of our readers, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best non-English-language content Netflix has to offer at the moment.
Netflix’s first foray into Brazilian content, 3% is a dystopian thriller set in a world plagued by extreme poverty, where 3% of the population has the opportunity to have a better life in the “Offshore,” but must survive The Process, a series of physical, intellectual, and emotional tests.
Boys Over Flowers
This Korean drama (K-drama) follows the story of a studious working class girl who gets accepted into an exclusive and elite academy, where she catches the eye of the four most popular (and rich and also handsome) boys of the school.
The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince
Another classic K-drama romantic comedy about a working class tomboyish woman who disguises herself as a man to get a job at a coffeeshop, and the rich playboy coffeeshop owner who falls in love with her.
Club de Cuervos
The first of Netflix’s original Spanish programs, Club de Cuervos is a dramedy about a fictional soccer team in Mexico dealing with the aftermath of the owner’s death. When the owner’s unqualified and hard-partying son ends up taking the reins, his far more competent daughter hatches a plan to take back what’s hers.
This quirky and surreal Japanese show follows a retiree as he navigates the various customs surrounding food culture, like whether or not it’s okay to drink beer with lunch, or how to reconcile western and Japanese etiquette when eating spaghetti. With the food porniness of Chef’s Table and the appearance of a samurai in every episode, it really checks all the boxes.
This Israeli thriller follows an Israeli force tasked with killing a Palestinian militant. It gives us a unique microcosm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, showing just how intertwined the sides are and the rippling effect the violence of the conflict has.
This Danish family dramedy follows a brazen single mother and teacher hellbent on doing things her way as she navigates relationships and a number of other situations like sexuality, drug use, and xenophobia.
In this Norwegian thriller, when a new leader decides to shut down Norway’s oil and gas industry in favor of greener solutions to combat global warming, Russia, with the rest of Europe’s blessing, invades the country to avoid a complete crisis.
A Very Secret Service
Dr. Strangelove meets Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in this 1960s French satire that pokes fun at Cold War-era politics, French colonialism, the government bureaucracy and, of course, spies.
Las Chicas De Cables
This Spanish period drama follows the lives of four women who become telephone operators in the late 1920s, and serves up some fun drama and love stories with some feminist overtones.
Hotel Beau Séjour
If you’re into crime dramas and supernatural shit, this is the show for you. A deceased Belgian teenager attempts to solve her own murder with the help of a handful of live folks who can communicate with her.
Gangs of Wasseypur
This gritty Indian story follows the intertwining of politics, crime, and coal, and the rise and fall of the crime families in Dhanbad.
This French film follows a African French teen who lives in the projects of Paris who finds sisterhood in an all-girl gang.
In this Oscar-nominated film from Palestine, a Palestinian kid is forced to become an Israeli informant after he is arrested for the death of an Israeli soldier.
The African Doctor
This French fish-out-of water dramedy is based on the true story of a Congolese doctor who moves his family to rural France to take a job. The family must deal with the struggle of being the only black family in town and the racism of their fellow townspeople.
This Indian film starring Shah Rukh Khan takes us into the underbelly of politics, crime, and liquor smuggling, making a hero out of a criminal.
This Korean hit from Bong Joon-ho, director of Ojka, Mother, and Snowpiercer, is about a man fighting to rescue his daughter who has been taken by a sea monster, eluding quarantines and other government blockades.
The Good the Bad and the Weird
This insanely fun South Korean spaghetti western set in the 1930s follows three very different men on the hunt to find a treasure map that could lead them to treasure.
Okay, so, technically this Indian film is in English, but it’s a gorgeous and tender queer film about two childhood friends who end up taking very different paths in life, then reunite for a weekend trip, where they confront their attraction to each other.
I Am Love
This family drama follows a Russian woman who marries into a wealthy Italian family and has to reconcile her responsibilities, an affair, and the idea of keeping up appearances.
Set against the backdrop of Mexico’s 1999 student protests, this surreal Mexican film follows a teenage boy sent to live with his college student brother in a stylish exploration of the pitfalls of youth.
In this absurdist comedy, two girls from Iran and Israel thwart a nuclear war between their homecountries.
All wrestling champ Mahavir wanted was a son to take on the family trade, but four girls later, his dreams were unrealized—that is, until his daughters showed a knack for fighting. Based on a true story, this Indian sports film follows the childhood and early careers of Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, two iconic female wrestlers.
This Palme d’Or-winning French film follows three Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to find a better life in Europe. They end up in the projects of Paris only to find more problems ahead of them.
God of Cookery
This film is not a sophisticated art-house film by any means, but it is certainly something of a masterpiece. Incredibly ridiculous and goofy, God of Cookery, a Stephen Chow joint, follows the downfall of a fraudulent celebrity chef and his utterly absurd road to redemption with the help of a tough street-smart cook who goes by the name Sister Turkey.