Netflix has no shortage of European movies and TV series, despite being an American platform.
Some of Netflix’s most popular European TV shows in recent years have been produced by the streaming giant itself, including ‘Baby’ in Italy, ‘Dark’ in Germany, ‘Call my agent’ in French and ‘Élite’. in Spain.
The same goes for cinema. The latest works from Europe’s greatest directors have been released directly on the platform, including two Oscar-nominated titles.
This is no coincidence, as there is growing pressure on Netflix from across Europe to support filmmaking on the continent.
In a referendum in May, Swiss voters backed proposals to have TV streaming platforms, including Netflix, invest some of their locally generated revenue in the country’s film industry.
The previous month, Netflix signed a $45 million deal with French film guilds to create at least 10 French and European films over the next three years.
To celebrate European cinema, Euronews has compiled a list of the eleven best European films available on Netflix.
Endless references to this film have been made since its release in 2001, which speaks to the revolution and popularity of this unconventional romantic comedy.
“Amelie” is the original and touching story of a woman who struggles with loneliness by trying to make others happy, until she finds her own joy.
With its oversaturated colors, its irresistible Frenchness and its astonishing soundtrack by Yann Tiersen, ‘Amélie’ is alone responsible for having changed the way contemporary audiences view French cinema.
Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
This story of love, sexual discovery and heartbreak between Adèle, a French teenager, and Emma, a blue-haired art student, won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2013.
“Blue is the Hottest Color” attracted some controversy at the time, particularly for its explicit 7-minute lesbian sex scene, and the fact that it was directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, a straight man.
But the film has very high ratings online and has been praised by many critics. It’s really worth the detour.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
We are in the 1980s in Italy.
Under the scorching Tuscan sun, seventeen-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) falls in love with the charming older foreign research assistant (the now infamous Arnie Hammer) hired by his father for the summer. Luca Guadagnino’s Oscar-winning film about youth, love, summer and discovery will have you dreaming of vacations in Tuscany and crying like your own heart has been broken. Plus, you’ll never look at peaches the same way again.
In the suburbs of Paris, two friends dream of a better life that would get them out of the suburbs at all costs. So the two girls start running a successful drug-dealing business. ‘Divines’ is both powerful and tender in its portrayal of the two protagonists, whose friendship and passion are quite contagious. Some scenes will make you giddy with euphoria and seize you with anxiety. It was director Houda Benyamina’s first film, and it won the Camera d’Or at Cannes.
The Great Beauty (2013)
Journalist Jep Gambardella has been writing about Rome’s fashionable high-life for decades, reveling in its luxury and excess. Now 65, he is existentially fed up and finds everyone around him superficial and grotesque. Paolo Sorrentino paints a haunting portrait of Rome as decadent as it is beautiful, where the opulence of the images on screen is matched only by Toni Servillo’s great acting as the protagonist.
Bonus tip: Sorrentino’s latest film, Oscar-nominated ‘The Hand of God’, is also on Netflix, and it’s definitely worth checking out. Very different plot, same bizarre beauty.
I lost my body (2019)
A film so singular that it is difficult to describe it, “I lost my body” tells two stories in parallel: that of a hand in search of its body and that of a young man in love. The film often comes across as macabre in a way that might be a little off-putting if the story weren’t so tender and tragic at the same time.
This film caused quite a bit of controversy when it was released in 2020. Netflix received several requests to cancel the film, which it finally did in Turkey. The coming-of-age story of a group of teenage girls stuck in a reality that wants them constrained and powerless who find power and joy in dancing (and twerking) is a brilliant commentary on youth, sexualization premature birth of girls and the experience of being children of immigrants in France.
On My Skin (2018)
This movie is hard to watch, but worth discovering one of Italy’s most painful stories. “On My Skin” follows the story of Stefano Cucchi, who died in police custody on October 22, 2009, seven days after his arrest. His body was in dire condition and showed signs of abuse, but police denied responsibility, saying he died because he was a drug addict. Her family fought for years to find out the truth about her death.
Where are you going, Aida? (2010)
If you haven’t already, watch “Quo vadis, Aida?” at present. This heartbreaking story of a translator in 1995 Bosnia trying to get her family out of Srebrenica as the massacre of Bosnian men and boys by Serbian troops unfolds is devastating, yet hugely important.
This Oscar-nominated film by Alfonso Cuarón tells the semi-biographical story of a family in Mexico City in the 1970s, based on the director’s memories of his own childhood. The movie is epic – everything you could expect from a movie, tragedy or comedy, is there. Cuarón’s choice to shoot the film in black and white adds to the timelessness and magnificence of “Roma”.
Song of the Sea (2014)
This film is a real gem of animation. “Song of the Sea” tells the story of an Irish boy who discovers that his seemingly mute sister is actually a selkie: on land, she looks like a normal child, but once in the sea, she turns into a seal . The movie revolves around a real song, which is just beautiful and will probably stick in your head. It is the second part of an Irish folk trilogy directed and co-produced by Tomm Moore.
Bonus tip: The company behind this movie, Cartoon Saloon, also made another amazing movie that you can find on Netflix, “The Breadwinner.”