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Expatriate life in the movies

Being an expat means being part of a common and important social characteristic. Does the cinema, one of the biggest media in the world, ever take it into consideration? The answer is yes! And what is really interesting is that any “expatriate movie” talks about all the feelings an expat can have.

Let’s see together some titles:

  • “Lost in translation” (2003) by Sofia Coppola, with Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray. They are both Americans in Tokyo for different reasons. He is an actor and she is the wife of a photographer. During the movie, they both explore themes of loneliness, insomnia, personal crisis, homesickness and culture diversities.
  • “Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003) by Audrey Wells and with Diane Lane. It is a comedy related to the perfect expat dream. The main character, after a divorce and depression, leaves San Francisco to go for a tour in Tuscany, where, in the end, she buys a villa, goes over a lot of challenges and starts her new life with gentle people met during her stay.
  • “A good year” (2006) There are more versions of this movie. So I chose the one by Ridley Scott played by Russel Crown, even if it had bad critics. The main character Max is a British businessman who seems not interested in anything and anyone until he needs to go back to Provence, France. He spent there a part of his childhood in a vineyard with his uncle. A lot of adventures happen during the period in France and again when is back in London.
  • “Casablanca” (1942) I am sure it doesn’t need any presentation. It could be considered THE Expat Film. The actor playing the main character is Humphrey Bogart, an American expat in Casablanca – Morocco, during World War II. In the casting, there was also Ingrid Bergman, who plays the role of his ex-wife who had to leave the Country with the Germans after her. So the plot is full of complication, intrigue, war, drama, romance and humour.
  • “Non è un Paese per giovani” (2017) by Giovanni Veronesi. Two young guys dream to leave their jobs (they are both waiters in a restaurant in Rome) and Italy to go to Cuba and open their own restaurant with Wi-Fi for everyone. The adventure starts and they won’t be alone.

You might ask yourself what is the goal of this article

Those are just 5 titles, for sure there are a lot more movies about expatriate to watch and to remember. I believe, in those, there is a part of us and they mean a lot. The expatriate movies I described encourage us to do what we feel, to follow our dreams and make them happen, at the same time they want to protect us reminding it is not simple, even if we leave a place that is not anymore home, or we are forced to do it for different reasons (war, no opportunities, etc..) we’ll be homesick one day, we’ll be lonely for a while, but yeah, we’ll make it in any case.