Experiencing European Culture through Film
Studying in the capital of Europe is an exciting way to expose yourself to many different types of culture. One of the best ways to capitalize on, and to truly comprehend, the true international composition of Brussels is through cinema. Belgians love film and the experience of the cinema. Brussels is absolutely flush with wonderful little cinemas throughout its borders – a wonder for such a small city. And these cinemas do an excellent job upholding the cosmopolitan essence of the city. Unlike many other countries, Belgium doesn’t dub their films. They opt to keep the wide range of films on offer in their original version, while adding Dutch and French subtitles to the film.
One of the consistent activities offered by CIEE is a weekly film series, which allows students to capitalize on the breadth of film and culture available here. About once every other week the ALA program checks out a film in one of Brussels many cinemas, usually in all sorts of languages. Instead of being daunted by the prospect of conquering a film in say, Arabic, students have happily sunk their teeth into fine-tuning their French subtitle reading skills. So far this semester we’ve seen a highly-acclaimed Belgian film on hormone-trafficking, a French-Canadian film focusing on family and conflict in the Middle East, and a Swedish film full of cacophony as it follows a group of musical terrorists making music throughout a city.