Sometimes all we need is a really good movie with beautiful cinematography to take us away from the daily grind. Nothing like a two hour escape to someplace we’ve never been, while relaxing on the sofa with a hot tea in hand. And I can tell you that over the years I have seen some amazing movies of this genre, the scenery and sounds of these movies can almost fool your olfactory senses into thinking you can actually smell the aroma in the air.
Since this blog is about ‘all things travel’, I thought a movie themed post would be fun! So I have prepared a list of some of my favourites, but will have to apologize in advance…they tend to have a certain..umm chick-flick-theme to them! What can I say… it’s a movie list of ‘yours truly’!
Please keep in mind that I haven’t included the ratings or the age appropriate advisories..and some themes of these movies may be disturbing to sensitive little, or grown up people!
1. The Scent of Green Papaya
Upon watching The Scent of Green Papaya, it’s easy to see why it won an award at the 1993 Caanes International Film Festival. Filmed in Vietnamese, this movie follows a young girl as she lives as a servant. It is a very slow movie, but the director brings you right into the life of this young girl. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen The Scent of Green Papaya, but it left a lasting impression and certainly worth watching. If you can find it!
2. The Way
A story of a man that makes it his mission to walk The El Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in memory of his son who died on the trail. This 800 KM walk is for those who wish to escape life for the duration of the pilgrimage, for most it’s a spiritual walk, while for others it’s a journey towards making a significant change in their lives, and for others who just want to experience life, and nature, and to challenge themselves in this long voyage on foot. The Way portrays all that, as it follows a man during his mourning period along with the people he meets on this spectacular trail. Based on Jack Hitt’s book ‘Off the Road’ a reflection of his own journey along the El Camino de Santiago. I really want to go on this pilgrimage…and I just might!
Director: Emilio Estevez
This movie, based on a true story is about Robyn Davidson a young woman who decided to walk the 1,700 miles along Western Australia’s Desert from a place called Alice Springs to The Indian Ocean on a solo voyage, with just herself, her dog and four camels. She wrote a a book on her journey, and has been a writer for over 30 years now. Why she walked it is a little ambiguous, but I believe it was to find a deeper purpose in life having gone through the loss of her mom at a very young age. Tracks is also a slow movie, however the cinematography is beautiful, and it’s a movie that will keep you hooked until the end. Okay…just saying… this is a journey I do not… intend on making!
Director: John Curran
4. I Dreamed of Africa
Upon a certain fateful night, Kuki decides to move to Africa from Europe with her adventurous new husband. And during this journey she learns how “Africa beats to the rythm of its own drum” She learns the struggles of living in rural Africa, and we are taken on this voyage right along side her. Based on a true story written by Kuki Gallmann
Director: Hugh Hudson
5. PS I Love You
Okay….this is definitely a movie that I fell in love with from the first time I saw it and has since put Ireland on my hitlist of places I need to visit. PS I Love You, although not entirely set in Ireland, it takes you on a romantic and amazing journey with a little Ireland on the side. It’s funny, sad, and cute, and I have watched this oh…..a ‘few’ times!
Director: Richard LaGravenese
6. The White Masai
Based on the true story of a Dutch woman Corinne Hofmann, as she meets and falls in love with a Masai Warrior while on vacation in Kenya. Together they meet many cultural challenges as we are given a glimpse of the lives of the Masai people. The White Masai is a great movie, and I have to be honest…I’ve watched it probably 5 times now.
Director: Hermine Huntgeburth
7. Memoirs of a Geisha
Beautiful book, the entire novel read like a work of poetry, I read this book twice…and surprisingly an even more beautiful movie! The cinematography was incredible, I couldn’t get enough of the sites, and scenery of Japan as set in the 1920’s. This is a poignant story of a young girl named Chiyo, who was forced into slavery, and then given the opportunity to become a Geisha. Memoirs of a Geisha is a phenomenal and artistic movie.
Director: Rob Marshall
8. 7 Years in Tibet
Beautiful exotic locations, wonderful albeit long storyline, and Brad Pitt.. 7 Years in Tibet is one of the classics, based on the true story of, and written by Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber during the time era of World War II and China’s invasion on Tibet. Everyone should see this movie once, but be warned… it’s very long!
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
9. Beyond Borders
Phenomenal, and ironically starring Angelina Jolie…(see what I did there) I know… you may hate her, you may love her, but this movie is absolutely, without a doubt, worth seeing! It’s about a wealthy socialite that realizes there is a desperate world beyond the safety of her circle and influential family. She becomes avidly and passionately involved in the relief efforts of the UN and uses her influence and resources in an attempt to make a change. Angelina herself is very involved in the United Nations, and is a strong philanthropist, this movie is just one more effort for her to make a statement. Beyond Borders..please see it : )
Director: Martin Campbell
Writer: Caspian Tredwell-Owen
10. Out of Africa
No Internationally themed movie list can be complete without Meryl Streep and Robert Redford’s Out of Africa. A classic and elegant movie also set in rural Africa. It’s a love story first, but the background is stunning, set in 20th century Kenya. And by the way…why can’t Meryl Streep and Robert Redfort just get married already! Their onscreen chemistry in all their movies is capturing.
Director: Sydney Pollack
Writers: Karen Blixen (based upon: “Out of Africa” and other writings), Judith Thurman (book) | 2 more credits »
11. Cairo Time
Last, and most definitely not least is the stunningly scenic movie Cairo Time. A woman who’s husband works for the UN travels to Cairo to meet him for a short holiday in Cairo. He is however held up with problems at the United Nations, and therefore his colleague escorts her through Egypt as her tour guide. This is a movie to watch when you want to relax and escape for a while. I love this movie.
Director: Ruba Nadda
Writer: Ruba Nadda
Stars: Patricia Clarkson, Alexander Siddig, Elena Anaya
Although I cannot possible choose which one is my number 1 favourite, although I do tend to lean towards movies with UN themes, I can say that if there is a movie, or two on this list that you haven’t had the chance to see then do try! These movies will transport you to another time, another place and could even possibly ignite a little travel spark within you!