5 Great Modern Day Films About Expat Life

Film: The Last King of Scotland

Plot: A Scottish doctor who is relocated to Uganda and after a chance meeting with Idi Armin after a minor car accident, eventually becomes the personal physician of the dictator. The film describes how the lust-filled lifestyle of expat Nicholas Garrigan eventually leads takes a very sinister turn that leads him to commit acts he never thought himself capable of.

Insightful expat exchange:

Idi Armin: Look at you. Is there one thing you have done that is good? Did you think this was all a game? ‘I will go to Africa and I will play the white man with the natives.’ Is that what you thought? We are not a game, Nicholas. We are real.

Film: Outsourced

Plot: A Seattle call centre manager is fired from his job and relocated to India in order to train his replacement. The film takes a comedic look at some of the cultural differences between the American and Indian cultures, while also sharing some more serious messages about the globalization of the world and life and love overseas.

Insightful expat exchange:

Manmeet: Why do Americans need these things?
Todd: Ah, they don’t.
Asha: Then what is the purpose?
Todd: There is no purpose. In America, you can do whatever you want. You can be the President, or a scientist, or you can even invent novelties like (holds up novelty item)
Manmeet: (laughs) What is that man?
Todd: This? This is exactly what I’m talking about. See, maybe no one needs this, but in America no one can stop you from making it. This is the definition of freedom.

Film: Lost in Translation

Plot: Lost in Translation describes the chance meeting between a well-known American actor, Bob, and a trailing spouse named Charlotte who is accompanying her celebrity photographer husband, John, while he is on assignment in Tokyo. The film focuses on Charlotte’s personal struggle as she attempts to see a future for herself as John’s wife while also finding a career with which she can be happy. Bob and Charlotte become fast friends, and as they explore the culturally rich landscape of Tokyo, their friendship threatens to develop into something more.

Insightful expat exchange:

Bob: What are you doing?
Charlotte: My husband’s a photographer, so he’s here working. I wasn’t doing anything so I came along.
Bob: What do you do?
Charlotte: I’m not sure yet, actually.

Under The Tuscan Sun

Plot: San Francisco writer Frances Mayes flees to Tuscany suffers from major writer’s block after a difficult divorce and fears that she may never recover. To try and reignite her passion for life she takes a trip to the Tuscan town of Cortona in Italy and makes an unexpected purchase of a dilapidated Tuscan villa. The film describes the process by which Frances adapts to life abroad and develops new friends and relationships.

Insightful expat exchange:

Frances: Do you know the most surprising thing about divorce? It doesn’t actually kill you. Like a bullet to the heart or a head-on car wreck. It should. When someone you’ve promised to cherish till death do you part says “I never loved you,” it should kill you instantly. You shouldn’t have to wake up day after day after that, trying to understand how in the world you didn’t know. The light just never went on, you know. I must have known, of course, but I was too scared to see the truth. Then fear just makes you so stupid.
Martini: No, it’s not stupid, Signora Mayes. L’amore e cieco.
Frances: Oh, love is blind. Yeah, we have that saying too.
Martini: Everybody has that saying because it’s true everywhere.

How To Lose Friends And Alienate People

Plot: Sidney Young is an up and coming British journalist who is relocated to New York after an interesting incident in which he accidentally sets a pig free at a party. He finds that life in New York is anything but simple and successfully manages to get on the wrong side of every single person he comes into contact with. The film is fun and laidback and takes an amusing look at the life of a quintessentially British expatriate overseas.

Insightful expat exchange:

You know, when I told my wife I’d hired another Brit, she was excited.
She still thinks you’re all like something out of Pride And Prejudice,
But after what she just saw in that room,
now she thinks you’re a British person born in New Jersey.

Do you have a favorite film about expat life? Tell us all about it by leaving a comment below.

Author: ExpatInfoDesk