The Value Of Subtitled Films


Movie Feauture by Harriet Robbins

During this hectic awards period there has been a new developmenmt--subtitled films have taken a significant lead in the race for the best of the best.

As director of acquisition for a Hollywood company, and later as a journalist, I started attending film markets and festivals around the world. Cities like Cannes, Shanghai, Tokyo, Toronto, Montreal and New York were my beat. I deplored the fact that so few of the wonderful foreign films I saw reached audiences in the United States. As a member of the Los Angeles Film Teachers Association (LAFTA), a prestigious screening group headed by Alice La Deane, I initiated a special series introducing foreign and independent films which has become a programming staple. Other film groups and distribution companies took notice and followed suit.

Today a number of subtitled films, led by Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima and by Mel Gibson's Apocalytpo, have garnered

awards from major film critic associations. What better way to understand the world around us--and to explore universal links--than through films that we can share, films that reflect the human condition. The more we know, the more we understand.

I am proud to be known as a "foreign agent" and to have been instrumental in bringing so many quality subtitled films to the USA. I feel as if I have opened the doors of the world through film.