As we’re deep into quarantine now, you’re probably edging ever closer to completing Netflix. Fear not however, as there’s still plenty more out there to keep you entertained for the weeks ahead as well as help with your language learning at the same time. Whether you’re a sports fanatic, an art lover or a keen traveler, Netflix have got you covered as you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to their vast selection of international documentaries. In this blog article, we’ll be sharing with you our favourites that you’re bound to love and find helpful in refining your language skills.
Little Miss Sumo (Japanese)
Unlike anything you would’ve seen before, Little Miss Sumo is a short documentary that follows the unique and incredible story of a Japanese amateur sumo wrestler fighting for her right to compete professionally. Included in the BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world in 2019, Hiyori Kon strives to change Japan’s national sport for the better. Still to this day, women are not allowed to fight in the Dojo, but Hiyori wants to rectify this so that she, and many others, can fulfil their life-long dreams. This extremely moving documentary will inspire you right from the beginning and it’ll really make you realise why Hiyori is such a role model for women across the world.
Magical Andes (Spanish)
If you’re learning Spanish and wanting some inspiration for a future adventure, then make sure to watch Magical Andes. The breathtaking series takes you on a journey through the world’s largest mountain range that remarkably stretches over 7,000km! From surreal panoramic shots of Macchu Picchu to captivating stories from the people who live these majestic mountains, the series will really make you fall in love with the Andes and give you a burning desire to take the next plane out to South America.
Faces Places (French)
Faces Places is a heart-warming documentary that follows Agnès Varda, a pioneer in the ‘French New Wave’ cinematic movement, and the charismatic street artist JR, who embark on a trip across rural France. Not only do they make some truly stunning installation art, but most of all, a beautiful yet unlikely friendship begins to blossom. Whether you’re interested in art or not, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this film right from the get-go, and it comes as no surprise that it won the prestigious L’Oeil d’or award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
Pedal The World (German)
In June 2013, Felix Starck decided to leave everything behind and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. With only a couple of bags, a video camera and a bike, he cycled 18,000 kilometers across 22 countries. Pedal The World is a film that documents his astonishing journey of discovery as he searches for the purpose of life. If you’re learning German and are a fan of the ‘Long Way Round‘, then Pedal The World will be your cup of tea.
The Edge Of Democracy (Portuguese)
The powerful political documentary, The Edge Of Democracy, showcases the dramatic rise and fall of two failed presidencies as well as an unprecedented corruption scandal that took Brazil by storm. As a result of the shocking arrest of President Lula and the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, the nation’s democracy has been left in tatters and in the hands of the controversial Bolsonaro. The Edge Of Democracy is a thought-provoking film that really shakes you to the core and, unsurprisingly, it was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature at the 92nd Academy Awards
And there you have it… those are our absolute favourite international documentaries on Netflix. Not only are these documentaries great for broadening your horizons, but they’re also an educational and fun way to boost your language skills. Learning a language isn’t always about memorising long lists of vocabulary or ploughing through endless amounts of grammar exercises, but instead it should be about finding other entertaining ways to enhance your language and, without a doubt, documentaries are a perfect example for this.
While we’re on the topic of languages, feel free to visit our Foreign Languages page to find out more about our upcoming online courses this summer.