A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Being honest, before I joined Leiden University, my main experience of film was cheesy rom-coms, often involving singing and dancing and always with a happy ending. Yet, since being here, the world of film has been opened up to me! I decided to study in Leiden partly due to a desire to experience and learn about new cultures and an important way in which I have now been educating myself if through the world of movies. I’ve come to realise that the movies of a country are able to teach a lot about the beliefs, values and humor of a culture and so it is a great way to begin to understand a different world.
My education began when I decided to join the ISN film club. Every week this club shows a film from anywhere in the world. With this group of film-enthusiasts, I have seen psychological thrillers from France, action films from Norway and comedies from Belgium. It’s been so interesting simply just to see the slight differences in ideas and principles between the cultures although importantly, these films appear to show great similarities between people.
This week has been the ‘Leiden International Film Festival’, a festival which is dedicated to celebrating films from around the world. Ten days worth of films have been shown in cinemas across Leiden, some even involving live bands! I was lucky enough to see an interesting group of short films which portrayed differences in the human condition across four different countries. One had a particularly interesting link between the old-age silent films and a more hard-hitting story of some impoverished Chinese immigrants.
Although this film festival is finishing today, films are so easily accessible, just remember that to be open minded to differences and you might learn so much about different people through this world of film!