By Tracy Moore,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Subtitled coming-of-age drama explores girl friendship.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Foreign Letters offers positive messages about curiosity, acceptance, friendship, and diversity.
Positive Role Models
The characters are very realistic and relatable. The main girl characters are realistically flawed in depictions of their innocence and capacity for nuance.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Very minor, innocuous discussions of liking boys and wanting to date them.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one scene, a man smokes a cigarette at a family gathering.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Foreign Letters is a largely subtitled coming-of-age drama, so it's best-suited for kids who are good readers, and who have the attention span for a nuanced family drama. There's some very minor, innocuous discussions of liking boys and wanting to date them, but no iffy content.
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Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
Israeli girl Ellie's (Noa Rotstein) experience as a newcomer to America is difficult until she meets Thuy (Dalene Le), a Vietnamese immigrant in her class who shows her the ropes and quickly becomes her best friend. But Thuy's secrets test the limits of their friendship, and illuminate the importance of human connection.
Is It Any Good?
FOREIGN LETTERS is a beautifully executed, nuanced, and thoughtful exploration of the immigrant experience told through the friendship of 6th grade girls. It's quiet and funny, and shows the quirks of American culture through fresh eyes, while also addressing the complex challenges of cultural and socioeconomic differences. In spite of the specificity of these cultural narratives, the film tells a powerful, universal story about friendship.
Kids who are old enough to read subtitles and have the patience for a multicultural family yarn will enjoy the universal aspects of the featured friendship, from their crushes on boys to prank calls to secret codes. Parents can appreciate that the depictions of these cultural identities are handled with sensitivity and grace, and a refreshing realism not often seen in stories about young girls.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about feeling different. Have you ever felt different because of your family or appearance? How were you treated? How did it make you feel?
America prides itself on being a melting pot for different cultures, but the film explores the difficulty these young girls face in blending in. How can Americans help people from other cultures feel welcome here?
Have you ever had a falling out with a friend? Were you able to work through it? What happened?
- On DVD or streaming: August 7, 2012
- Cast: Dalena Le, Daniel Bahr, Noa Rotstein
- Director: Ela Thier
- Studio: Film Movement
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 25, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Movies About Friends
Books About Friendship
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