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10 movies from around the world to watch this Thanksgiving 

Photo credit: Google open source

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Alas, the holiday isn’t really known for having a lot of good movies to go along with it—and major holidays need good movies. So, I’ve compiled a list of 10 films from around the world that I think are perfect to watch on (or around) this Thanksgiving. 

  1. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005, dir. Ken Kwapis) – United States 

All right, technically this is a summer vacation movie. That said, it has all the themes that we usually associate with Thanksgiving, and it reminds us to be thankful for the things in life that we usually take for granted—like family and friends, love, and sometimes, a really nice pair of jeans. Warning: this movie is a tear-jerker. My partner showed this movie to me, and I was not the same when the credits rolled.  

  1. Under the Same Moon (2007, dir. Patricia Riggen) – Mexico 

If “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” didn’t make you cry enough, then try “Under the Same Moon” (originally titled “La Misma Luna”). This is a story about a young Mexican boy’s trek across the Mexican border to find his mother, an undocumented immigrant living in Los Angeles. It’s a brilliant, sincere picture—one that will remind you that “family” is stronger than a shared bloodline. 

  1. Good Morning (year, dir. Yasujirō Ozu) – Japan 

If you’re in the mood for a lighthearted, easy-to-watch comedy, I recommend Ozu’s “Good Morning.” It follows two brothers that take a vow of silence when their parents refuse to buy them a television, all while a tight-knit community gossips over why the boys have gone quiet. It’s a cute movie that’ll make you laugh, and it’s not particularly deep. Perfect for Thanksgiving, wouldn’t you say? 

  1. Where Is the Friend’s House? (1987, dir. Abbas Kiarostami) – Iran 

Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami tells a unique, profound story about a little boy who goes on an adventure to return misplaced homework to his classmate. It may sound simple, but I assure you, this film will surprise you and warm your heart. You’ve never seen anything like it. 

  1. Yabba (1989, dir. Idrissa Ouedraogo) – West Africa 

“Yabba” is a beautiful story about a 10-year-old boy that adopts an old, outcast woman as his grandmother. This is an earnest picture that will change the way you look at movies, along with how you view the concepts of “family” and “home.”  

  1. The Red Balloon (1956, dir. Albert Lamorisse) – Italy 

This short movie by Albert Lamorisse is a sweet, family-friendly tale about a little boy and a magical red balloon. It’s an unlikely friendship that you’ll remember forever. This subtly fantastical film, which is just over 30 minutes, is perfect for a busy Thanksgiving. 

  1. Wild Strawberries (1957, dir. Ingmar Bergman) – Sweden 

This picture is quiet and contemplative. It’s about remembering one’s childhood, the nature of love, and it’s about reconciliation in one’s old age. While not the most obvious choice for a Thanksgiving movie, I’d argue that Bergman’s “Wild Strawberries” is appropriate—especially for those who like to delve deeper into the question of what makes life worth living.  

  1. Paddington (2014, dir. Paul King) – United Kingdom 

Paul King’s picture is all about finding family where you least expect it. Ben Wishaw’s portrayal of Paddington Bear is so wholesome and hilarious that your heart will melt with joy. “Paddington” is the perfect Thanksgiving story for families young and old. And it stars Colin Firth. What more could you ask for? 

  1. Spirited Away (2001, dir. Hayao Miyazaki) – Japan 

Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” is one of Studio Ghibli’s finest pictures, and it is the perfect movie for Thanksgiving. It’s chock full of magical creatures, vibrant characters and scary monsters—but what makes it special is the sheer humanity behind it all. 

  1. The Wizard of Oz (1939, dir. Victor Flemming) – United States 

This technicolor masterpiece is a classic for a reason. Victor Flemming’s “The Wizard of Oz” is all about learning to love yourself and your family, quirks and all. There really is “no place like home,” especially on Thanksgiving. 

That’s the end of this holiday movie list, folks! If you celebrate it, I want to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. Even if you don’t, have a great break! I hope you enjoy these movies as much as I do. 

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