I would say I’m quite a film and television fanatic; I am forever going on about some show or movie I’ve just watched, much to the annoyance of my friends. However, in the last 6 months or so I could probably count on one hand the number of English programs I’ve actually watched. Rather, I’ve begun to turn my attention to movies and shows outside of the English database; Spanish, French, Japanese... just a few of the languages I’ve begun watching shows in.
But before you click away for fear this is an article about some virtuosic polyglot, there is truly no need to worry, subtitles must accompany me in all of these endeavours.
Since the dawn of the film and television industry, Hollywood has been synonymous with fame, fortune, and success. Actors from non-English speaking countries often begin their careers in their home country with the goal of eventually moving to America to pursue a career there. American films were and still are, seen as the pinnacle of the film industry. English is the gold standard in so many lines of business, and the same can be said for the film and television industry.
However, while the American film industry may produce many movies and shows, there is a plethora of insanely talented actors and actresses bursting out of Spanish, French, Japanese, you name it, television and film scene that go so vastly unnoticed in English speaking countries.
Najwa Nimri is a Spanish actress who is so ridiculously talented that I physically cannot put into words the brilliance of this woman’s acting - but she’s an actress that, had I not begun watching Spanish film, I never would have discovered. Juliette Binoche, Haruma Miura, Elena Anaya...actors whose names will never hold the same recognition as names like Brad Pitt or Nicole Kidman, but who’s work is of the same phenomenal calibre.
By restricting one’s field of view to only English-made content you miss out on a whole world of incredible movies and shows. Perhaps in the future, it will be English actors who will be making the commute to other countries for better roles. But while Hollywood still reigns king, I encourage you to open your eyes to the vast world of film and television out there for you to enjoy.