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Top 10 Inspirational Films of 2024 with Breathtaking Cinematography | CinemaWorld 2023 Recap

Top 10 Inspirational Films of 2024 with Breathtaking Cinematography | CinemaWorld 2023 Recap

It’s the start of the new year. Let’s look back on CinemaWorld’s spectacular 2023, with 10 must-watch films from all around the world, handpicked and reviewed by Team CinemaWorld.

 

BRADO (2022) - Italy 

Looking for a high-tension, teeth-gritting, family drama?


In Brado, wild horses appear a metaphor for the estranged relationship between father and son.

Both Renato and Tomasso are forced to reunite when Renato needs help on his ranch after suffering an injury. An emotionally-charged and tense film, Brado constantly skirts the edge of anger and hatred as both father and son are caught in their own feelings of resentment after years of separation. Kim Rossi Stuart’s (who also plays Renato) film does not hold back in revealing the ugliness of an estranged father-son relationship, which makes the film a difficult watch at times.

Through their efforts to tame the wild horse, Trevor, they begin to navigate the difficult journey of reconciliation and personal growth. 

 

AURORA (2019) - Finland

A warm-hearted romance between two unexpected love interests in the face of adversity.

When an Iranian immigrant, Dorian, tries to marry wild-party-girl Aurora in an attempt to secure Finnish asylum, he is turned down. However, sympathising with both Dorian’s and his daughter’s plight, Aurora decides to help him find the perfect wife — which she successfully does.

With a twist in the story, this journey to find love brings them even closer to each other. Could it be too late for Dorian and Aurora to face their blossoming feelings? Aurora is a love story that will tug at one’s heartstrings with its warmth and hope.

 

THE SECOND (2018) - Australia

Get riled up with this steamy mystery-thriller that follows a threesome to an isolated house where dark secrets are unveiled.

“This is what happens when you make up stories.”

A high-octane thriller spun by decades old lies and deception, the truth in The Second is not as it seems. Step into the volatile world of a novelist and her suspicious best friend, both with a secret to hide that is masked in the former’s successful erotic memoir. 

Following three vaguely named characters (The Writer, The Publisher and The Muse), this film is shrouded in mystery and unexpected twists — it is certainly a thriller you don’t want to miss.

 

AMERICAN SKIN (2019) - US

In the mood for something sombering? This politically-charged film takes a grim look into racial prejudice and police brutality in the US. 

This is the story of Lincoln Jefferson, a US Marine veteran failed by his country’s judicial system after the police killed his unarmed son and got away scot-free. In a solitary quest for justice, Jefferson decides to take matters into his own hands. Provocative and raw,  American Skin exposes the harsh and unjust realities of police brutality against the African American community.

 

THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (2021) - Germany

An eye-opening family drama that doesn’t shy away from the difficulties of mental illnesses. 

This film explores the effects on mental illness on both the individual and their loved ones. A bitter-sweet tug-of-war between familial love and the difficulties brought on by mental illness, Hardy (Til Schweiger) needs to confront the realities of having a bipolar son, Paul (Emilio Sakraya). After a suicide attempt, Paul seeks psychiatric help which sets him on the path to recovery. Will his father be there for him on this journey? The Salvation Of The World As We Know It bravely confronts the issues of mental illnesses through the lens of the protagonist’s family — it is definitely a worthy watch.



STANDING UP FOR SUNNY (2019) - Australia

An uplifting and witty rom-com that will make you want to fall in love.

The film follows the heart-warming relationship between Travis and Sunny, a young man with cerebral palsy and a budding comedian, as each explores their own potential with mutual support. Travis’s character is played by RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad) who also has cerebral palsy, which gives the character a greater sense of authenticity. A refreshing story told with heart and humour, Standing Up For Sunny sheds light on the lives of those with physical disabilities and sends a message on love and self-acceptance.

 A RIVER WITHIN / STROOMOP (2018) - South Africa

Sometimes we just need a little soul-searching in the wilderness…

A River Within is an inspiring coming-of-age ensemble piece that tells a story of courage and self-discovery. Five women with intertwining fates are advised to go on a trip to the Orange River after visiting a psychiatrist, as a form of “Adventure-Therapy”. However, when things go awry during their river-rafting trip, the women are forced to face their own inner obstacles and rediscover themselves in the unrelenting wilderness.

 

BINTI (2019) - Belgium

A light-hearted, youthful story about a heavy and enduring global issue — the immigration crisis. 

On the surface, Binti is delightfully imaginative and humorous in its portrayal of characters but it also tells an important and personal story of Belgium’s immigration crisis. Through the eyes of 12-year-old Binti, we see the sordid realities of immigrants without legal documents in Belgium who simply desire citizenship and a sense of belonging. Binti herself is a joy to watch as her enthusiastic youthfulness shines through despite her predicament.



A FAR SHORE (2022) - Japan

Enjoy Wong Kar-Wai’s hypnotising cinematography? This one’s for you.

Vibrant yet dreamy, cinematography in A Far Shore is sensational as it encapsulates both the neon-coloured nightlife and calm mornings on Okinawa’s streets. The film’s plot however, tells an agonising story of one’s struggle with underage motherhood and domestic abuse. Once a lively teen, 17-year-old mother, Aoi finds herself caught in a cycle of poverty and abuse under the wrath of her husband. The film charts her desperate attempts to get back on her feet as life appears to push her down at every step. Deeply compassionate and brutally honest, Masaaki Kudo’s film leaves its audience rooting for Aoi’s survival in her unforgiving world.




A SON (2019) - France/Tunisia/Lebanon/Qatar

Is parental love truly unconditional? How far would you go to save your child?

Mehdi Barsaoui’s feature-film debut packs a surprising depth of mystery which is made even more captivating with its terrific storytelling and pacing. The two protagonists’, Fares and Meriam, thinly veiled marital bliss is soon shaken by a dark truth from the past when their son falls prey to a terrorist ambush. With fallible and compellingly written characters, A Son contemplates parenthood and morality at the expense of a young victim of both a country’s political conflict and familial crisis — a boy who can only hope to be saved.

These films from CinemaWorld’s 2023 are emblematic of the sombre times we lived in the past year, yet they inspire us with their hopefulness and passion for life. Catch the best of CinemaWorld’s 2023 Picks this January — all showtimes can be found on our January 2024 Schedule

 

In the upcoming year, we strive to bring you a diverse curation of critically-acclaimed and inspirational movies from countries all around the world. 

Be the first in line for the exclusive Asian premieres of award-winning international films or box-office hits, join our community of film lovers now!

 

~ Team CinemaWorld

 

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