Broken Hill Blues (2014)

Best foreign children's and youth films 2013/2014

The best foreign children’s films and youth films of the 2010’s – and new international kids films of 2014

Children’s and youth films can be kind of hard to pin down. Is a film with a child of teenager as its main protagonist a youth film by definition? Not per se. You wouldn’t let a 12-year old watch films like Idi I Smotri (1985) or Germania Anno Zero (1948) to name a few. Besides, an 11-year has different cinematic expectations and desires than a 13-year old, which makes a filmmakers’ potential audience pretty narrow. So what I did might be a bit risky; trying to come up with a list of foreign children’s and youth films for kids aged ten to fourteen.  A list of films which portray childhood, or specific circumstances youths encounter, in an honest and beautiful way. And moreover; films grown-ups will like too. No American kids films here; just the smaller ones that might’ve gotten a little less attention.

Best kids films of world cinema 2012/2013

An overview of our favorite foreign children’s films released in 2012 to 2013. No animated films, just live-action films. Below you can find the upcoming foreign films for kids in 2014.


Wadjda (Saudi Arabia, 2012)

Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour

Starring Reem Abdullah, Waad Mohammed and Abdullrahman Al Gohani

Wadjda (2012)

Being the first Saudi feature film filmed and produced in Saudi Arabia (by a woman!) ever, this one’s pretty interesting without even knowing what it’s about. It’s a charming and daring little film though, about a young girl living in a suburb of Riyadh determined to raise enough money to buy a bike in a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl’s virtue. A very interesting look ‘behind the scenes’ in one the most secluded countries of the world, while at the same time a gripping universal story.

Lore (Germany, 2012)

Directed by Kate Shortland

Starring Saskia Rosendahl, Nele Trebs and Kai-Peter Malina

A very strong German children's film that got a lot of international recognition

You don’t see that many World War two films from a German’s point of few, which makes this German youth film all the more interesting. Lore starts when the war is over. Lore, fourteen year old, is the daughter of an established Nazi officer who sees herself and her infant siblings forced to flee as her parents become outlaws all of a sudden. As she travels the country by foot, she finds out what exactly was going on the last five years, which make her question her firm beliefs in the Nazi ideology.

Kauwboy (The Netherlands, 2012)

Directed by Boudewijn Koole

Starring Rick Lens, Loek Peters and Susan Radder

Kauwboy (2012)

The official submission of the Netherlands to the Best Foreign Language Film of the Academy Awards in 2013. It didn’t even make the shortlist, which is a pity. This beautiful film deserves a bigger audience than it reached. Ten year old Jojo lives with his unpredictable father, desperately waiting for his loving mother to return. One day he finds a wounded bird and decides to keep it, as it gives his life a little more meaning. It might remind you of Ken Loach’s Kes (1969), but it’s better.


Vi är bäst (Sweden, 2013)

Directed by Lukas Moodysson

Starring Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin and Liv LeMoyne

We are the best (2013)

Moodysson debuted in 1998 with Fucking Åmal, which was a nice and lighthearted Swedish coming of age film about a young girl falling in love with the local queen bee. Ever since, Moodysson made some quite dark pictures; not all of them that successful, both financially and artistically. Vi är bäst was hailed as is return to the style of his earlier films. And what a great one. This Swedish children’s film is a touching and hilarious portrait of three thirteen year old girls in Stockholm, 1982, trying to form a punk rock band while encountering some typical adolescent problems along the way.

The Selfish Giant (United Kingdom, 2013)

Directed by Clio Bernard

Starring Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas and Sean Gilder

A terrific British social drama about youth culture

We’ve seen quite a few of those British social realist films about a young boys struggling with the hardships of growing up in grey, depressing suburbs in the north of England. In that sense, this film doesn’t really add something to that long list. The film, based on a short story by Oscar Wilde, is about two friends collecting metal for a local scrap dealer. As one of the boys seems to have a talent for horse racing, their friendship is being challenged. The Selfish Giant feels like a modern day fairytale, which makes it a standout in the long British tradition of social realism.

Anticipated kids films 2014

The Rocket (Laos/Australia, 2014)

Perhaps the most interesting upcoming kids film of 2014, the Asian children’s film The Rocket. A boy who thinks he brings bad luck leads his family and a couple of misfits through Laos to find a new home. After a long journey through a land scarred by war, to prove he’s not cursed he builds a giant rocket to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival

Broken Hill Blues (Sweden, 2014)

In a small mining community in Northern Sweden, a group of teenagers about to take the leap in the adult age fight with themselves and the world around, while the ground literally trembles under their feet. A promising looking trailer with some great cinematography.This new Scandinavian kids film is up for release in the US on 17 April 2014.

The Weight of Elephants (New Zealand, 2014)

The loneliness and cruelty of childhood and the bruises of abandonment are at the heart of The Weight of Elephants. Reflecting the writer-director’s background, the moody children’s drama combines a deeply felt connection to the sleepy suburban isolation of his native New Zealand with a psychological approach typical of much Danish cinema, where he was born .

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