BBC Culture polled 209 critics in 43 countries to find the best in world cinema to build top 100. In order to celebrate the best cinema from around the world, BBC asked critics to vote for their favourite movies made primarily in a language other than English.
The 209 critics who took part are from 43 different countries and speak a total of 41 languages – a range that sets our poll apart from any other, bbc.co.uk reports.
The result: 100 films from 67 different directors, from 24 countries, and in 19 languages. French can claim to be the international language of acclaimed cinema: 27 of the highest-rated films were in French, followed by 12 in Mandarin, and 11 each in Italian and Japanese. At the other end of the scale, several languages were represented by just one film, such as Belarusian (Come and See), Romanian (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days), and Wolof (Touki Bouki).
One statistic noted was that a quarter of the films on the list were East Asian: that is, 25 of them were made in Japan (11), China (6), Taiwan (4), Hong Kong (3) or South Korea (1). And the winning film, Seven Samurai, by the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, was loved by critics everywhere – everywhere, that is, except for Japan. The six Japanese critics who voted didn’t go for a single Kurosawa film between them.
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