Ever wondered what other nationalities watch at Christmas?
Movies are an important and enjoyable part of the everyone’s holiday season. That said, there are only so many times you can sit through Elf, or hear Tiny Tim say; “God bless us, everyone!”
To broaden your collection of festive favourites, and impress your friends, why not branch out this year and try a foreign holiday film? Whether you’re into romantic comedies or historical dramas, there’s something for everyone. We asked the experts at language learning app Babbel (www.babbel.com) to share their favourites:
For the fairytale lover - Tři Oříšky pro Popelku (Three Wishes for Cinderella)
Think Cinderella, except better. The 1973 film, originally released in both Czech and German (Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel), is a seasonal tradition in Eastern Europe. The film is broadcast every Christmas Eve in Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic (or Czechia, if you’re up on current events). The story follows the popularly known narrative of poor Cinderella being kept from the king’s ball by her stepmother, but ultimately finding her Prince Charming.The most notable change is that instead of a Fairy Godmother, three hazelnuts grant Cinderella’s wishes.Tři Oříšky pro Popelku is for those who are looking for a feel-good film this holiday.
For the rom-com fan - Alles ist Liebe (All is Love)
This 2014 German film is Europe’s response to Love Actually. Alles ist Liebe is the story of ten men and women in Frankfurt whose stories intersect during the Christmas season. Following a remarkably similar format to Love Actually, Alles ist Liebe is based on Alles is Liefde, a 2007 Dutch film that itself was a reinterpretation of Love Actually. So basically, one could argue that Love Actually has created its own genre of international film…
For the history buff - Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)
Renowned is the heart-rendering moment that Wilhelm, the German Crown Prince, sent an opera singer to the front lines and brought WW1 to a standstill on 25th December 1914. The singing sparked an unofficial truce on all sides of the war. Ripe for fictionalisation, the moment inspired the French film French film Joyeux Noël. This sentimental film follows the lives of six soldiers on various sides of the war through a religious and ideological lens. Nominated for best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, the film points to the inhumanity of war.
And, for the hipster film aficionado- Dinner for One (Der 90. Geburtstag)
This old-time British classic is broadcast across numerous German TV channels and a must-watch for Germans in the New Year. Otherwise known as The 90th Birthday, ‘A Dinner for One’ details the birthday of an upper-class English woman, whose friends have all passed away. To much hilarity, the dutiful butler takes on the persona of the former guests sitting around the birthday dinner which consists of several courses and drinks pairings. This, of course, results in one very drunk butler, a tipsy Miss Sophie, and a whole heap of laughs along the way. Somewhat of a hidden classic in British film circles, this is one to watch if you fancy a laugh on New Year’s Eve.