The premise of this blog is that I will watch at least one film from each country in the world, and then post my response.
I’m interested in the different challenges people set themselves as a way to try out new things in their life. I’ve thought about trying different ones at various times, but when I realised how little I know about many of the world’s countries, I decided to try to watch (at least) one film from each country over the course of however long it takes me. I have a degree in Media Studies and International Relations, and a Masters in Global Studies, so I guess that the combination of film and different countries comes kind of naturally. But I’m looking forward to some new languages, landscapes, perspectives and experiences, and seeking out films that I might otherwise never have discovered.
How, and other practical issues?
Of course, a challenge like this requires some interpretation, and I’ve had to make some decisions at the outset about a number of questions:
1. What counts as a country of the world?
This is a very delicate and political question, and I don’t want to offend anybody here. I’ll be largely going from the sovereign nations recognised in some manner by the UN, but I recognise that there are other nations out there.
2. How do I select the films?
As part of the reason I am doing this challenge is to learn something about different countries and cultures, I’ll try to choose films that seem to say something about the country they are from – where the film would have been radically different if it had come from another country. So, hopefully not so many paint-by-numbers action thrillers or romantic comedies that say nothing about their setting. I’ll also be making an effort to watch films in the local language or languages. Finally, my choice will also be related to practical restrictions – I have to be able to access the film from my location, and if it’s in a language I don’t understand, find a version subtitled in one of the languages I speak.
For the countries where I have already seen one or more of their films, I will choose a new one and give the films I have already seen an honourable mention.
3. In today’s film industry where international co-productions abound, do these count?
For countries with smaller film industries, co-productions may be unavoidable. I will nevertheless endeavour to find films that seem firmly rooted in the country of origin I identify, and I will discuss any doubts I have about this.
4. Order and timeframe?
I will start in roughly alphabetical order of country of origin, but I might jump around depending on what films I come across at different times. This challenge may take years to complete, so some countries might have to wait a long time.