100 films, 67 different directors, 24 countries, and 19 languages – that is the diversity of BBC’s top 100 foreign language films. While the French can claim to be the international language of acclaimed cinema with 27 of the highest-rated films,  25 of them were East Asian with 11 made in Japan, 6 from China, 4 from Taiwan, 3 from Hong Kong and 1 from South Korea. Represnting India at number 15 was Satyajit Ray’s classic masterpiece Pather Panchali.

But the one thing the poll made clear was culture isn’t bound by borders and language is no barrier to enjoying a great film. While the cinema is tied to the identity and history of a nation, the language of film is universal.