Last summer, I discovered the Around the World in 80 Books group on Goodreads. I am not exaggerating when I say that ATW and Humans of New York are the only good things about the Internet. (Well, and Seamless. And like five other things. But you know what I mean.) The great thing about ATW is that it makes you read things you might not otherwise—or that I haven’t read, in any case. Only three percent—three percent!—of books published in the U.S. are in translation. How else are we supposed to find out about, like, French affairs or Chinese mining dramas or Turkish wedding parties without translators?

So that has been going great—so great, in fact, that I started doing the same thing with movies. The last three weeks I’ve been sick at home (FLU), and I had only two options: TV/Netflix/iTunes, or sleep. I started with The Hunt (Denmark)—not because I wanted to do a film version of ATW, but because I could only watch so much White Collar on Netflix (actually this is kind of a lie, since I can apparently watch all of it), and I found it on a list of movies to watch. (Also, because Mads.)

The-Hunt

Then I realized I was watching a Danish movie, and there was something special about watching a Danish movie. And I wanted to keep going. So I watched Kitchen Stories (Norway). (I didn’t love this movie because I don’t love movies where (spoiler text in white) nice old men die of broken hearts because their horse died and their new BFF had to briefly go away before he came back for Christmas dinner.) Then I kept going.

Note: These countries are contiguous. SO EXCITING THAT WAY.  I mean, it’s insane: You can actually see how attitudes, mores, dress, everything—how it all changes as you move. I mean, obviously, you’re dealing with a tiny little sliver of life—but it’s still all in there. Next I watched Force Majeure, and let me tell you, you need to watch this film immediately—it’s terrific. It’s Swedish, and about a Swedish couple whose relationship falls apart after the husband flees in the face of danger instead of protecting his family. Also, it has Tormund Giantsbane, and he is amazing. How could this shit get any better? 

force-majeure-turist-kristofer-hivju-johannes-kuhnke

I once got a job—my very first out-of-college job, as a movie critic of all things—because of a little speech I gave my soon-to-be-employer about the use of sound in Contact. But the sound in Force Majeure is amazing. Please watch it, and then tell me how great it is. It is that great.

It can be frustrating, being a travel writer who cannot travel—for whatever reason, including my own (FLU). But both ATW and my film version of it have provided the same sort of window onto other cultures—which of course, is the at the heart of what makes traveling so endlessly fascinating. And since my ATW: BOOK situation is currently stuck on Anna Karenina (where I expect to be for the next month or so), I’m so glad I have ATW: MOVIES to keep me out in the world, as it were.

Here’s the list I’ll be working from:

NORTH AMERICA
Canada
Mexico
USA
Bermuda
St. Pierre et Miquelon

CENTRAL AMERICA
Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama

SOUTH AMERICA
Argentina
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Ecuador
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
French Guiana
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Suriname
Uruguay
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

CARIBBEAN
Anguilla
Antigua and Barbuda
Aruba
Bahamas
Barbados
Bermuda
Cayman Islands
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Cuba
Dominica
Curaçao
Dominican Republic
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Haiti
Jamaica
Martinique
Montserrat
Puerto Rico
Saint Bathélemy
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Martin (French Part)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sint Maarten (Dutch Part)
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Virgin Islands, British
Virgin Islands, U.S.

EUROPE
Andorra
Austria
Belgium: Broken Circle Breakdown
Czech Republic
France: Blue Is the Warmest Color
Germany: Barbara
Gibraltar
Guernsey
Holy See (Vatican City State)
Hungary
Ireland
Isle of Man
Italy
Jersey
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Malta
Monaco
Netherlands: Winter in Wartime
Poland: Ida
Portugal
Romania
San Marino
Slovakia
Spain
Switzerland
United Kingdom

THE BALKANS
Albania
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Greece
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
Montenegro
Serbia
Slovenia

THE BALTICS
Estonia: Crosswind
Latvia
Lithuania

SCANDINAVIA
Åland Islands
Denmark: The Hunt
Faroe Islands
Finland
Greenland
Iceland
Norway: Kitchen Stories
Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Sweden: Force Majeure

AFRICA
Algeria
Egypt
Libya
Morocco
Tunisia
Western Sahara
Angola
Benin
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Congo
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Côte d’Ivoire
Djibouti
Equatorial Guinea [includes the islands of Annobón and Bioko]
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mauritius [includes Rodrigues]
Mayotte
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Nigeria
Réunion
Rwanda
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Sao Tomé and Principe
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
South Sudan
Sudan
Swaziland
Tanzania, United Republic of
Togo
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe

MIDDLE EAST
Afghanistan
Bahrain
Cyprus
Iran: A Separation
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Oman
Palestine: Omar
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Syria
United Arab Emirates
Yemen

CENTRAL ASIA
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Georgia: In Bloom
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Pakistan
Tajikistan
Turkey: Mustang
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan

SOUTH + SE ASIA
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei
Cambodia
India
Indonesia
Laos
Malaysia
Maldives
Myanmar
Nepal
Philippines
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Viet Nam

EAST ASIA
China
Hong Kong
Japan
Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of
Korea, Republic of
Macao
Mongolia
Taiwan, Province of China

NORTH ASIA
Belarus
Moldova
Russia: Leviathan
Ukraine: The Tribe

OCEANIA
American Samoa
Australia
Christmas Island
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cook Islands
Fiji
French Polynesia
Guam
Kiribati
Marshall Islands
Micronesia, Federated States of
Nauru
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Mariana Islands
Palau
Papua New Guinea
Pitcairn
Samoa
Solomon Islands
Tokelau
Tonga
Tuvalu
United States Minor Outlying Islands (includes the Howland-Baker, Johnston, Midway, US Line and Wake island groups)
Vanuatu
Wallis and Futuna

ANTARCTICA