Great Spanish films to improve your Spanish and how to make the most of them!

learning strategies Jun 02, 2021

Watching films in their original version or with subtitles is a great way to improve your level of Spanish whilst doing something you enjoy. 

Movies are an excellent way to expose you to a more natural form of the language with authentic vocabulary and slang, expressions and how to connect words with associated body language, but they can also seem extremely fast paced and overwhelming when trying to learn.

So, how do you combine the two and make the most of your learning whilst watching a film? 

Here are some simple steps to help you maximise the experience:

Step 1.

Choose a film, watch it and if you really liked it, then it's a great candidate for your learning!

Step 2.

Watch it a few times breaking it in chunks watching one segment at a time.

Step 3. 

Write down new words and phrases in your “cuaderno” .

Step 4.

Check what you can remember. Go back to the previous segment and try to watch it without subtitles. Can you understand what they’re saying? (You don’t need to understand everything, it's more about getting the gist of what you're hearing)

Step 5. 

Review the film with someone (a Spanish friend, a language exchange partner, your teacher). That way you can go over vocabulary, talk about the characters, the plot and the cultural aspects of the film.

 

Ok... But what films should we watch?

 

These 3 Spanish classics will not only help you with your Spanish, but they will also give you a great insight into the culture, customs and way of living:

 

1. Volver

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar, Volver is an absolute must in the Spanish film industry.

This film is a great representation of the culture in rural Spain, particularly the region of La Mancha, Almodóvar’s home region and where Manchego cheese comes from! It has won numerous international awards and the story is about two sisters and their journey to discover their past after the death of their parents.

We highly recommend this film for a deeper understanding of Spanish culture and traditions, particularly if you are interested in the more traditional side of Spain. It is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

 

 2. Mar Adentro

Translated into English as “The Sea Inside”, this is the true story of Ramón San Pedro, a man from Galicia in the North of Spain who fought a thirty-year campaign in favour of euthanasia and his own right to die after being left quadriplegic in a diving accident.

Directed by “Alejandro Amenábar” and internationally awarded, “Mar adentro” is also one the best films of Spanish cinema.

This film is not suitable if you’re looking for some light viewing, but it is an excellent film to watch if you want to appreciate first-class Spanish cinema with a deep theme. Also available on Amazon Prime.

 

 3. Dolor y Gloria

“Pain and Glory”, also directed by Pedro Almodóvar is the most recent of the three. 

The main character is played by Antonio Banderas, an aging Spanish film director in the middle of a creative crisis who revisits memorable events of his past. A story of youth and its loss, memory and creation, many believe this is based on Almodovar’s autobiography.

We watched this film recently and really enjoyed it and hope that you will like it too! You can watch it on Netflix.

Have you watched any of these or other Spanish films that you've really enjoyed and have helped you with your Spanish? Hit reply and let me know, I always love hearing from you! 😊

Hasta pronto,

Cristina

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