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For most of us, there will be no restaurants, no romantic dates in cinemas this Valentine. But we still have films and screens at home. Get off the beaten path of Hollywood romances and switch on some European takes of the greatest feelings of all. Here are Valentine’s day movie ideas based on five types of love.

First love: Summer of 85

In his latest film, French director François Ozon goes back in time and shows us a story of first love. The film is very autobiographical, set in 1985 in the French seaside. While boating, Alexis’s boat capsizes and almost drowns before being rescued by David, who ultimately ends up as the friend of his dreams. Sunny, yet tinted, innocent, yet dark, it has the best of Ozon’s style.

Magic love: On Body and Soul

Imagine meeting the love of your life not through Tinder but by having the same dream every night. That’s what happens to two difficult, introverted people, both working in the animal slaughterhouse. By pure chance, Maria and Endri discover that they share the same dream every night. They are puzzled, incredulous, a bit frightened. Then, as they hesitantly accept this strange coincidence, they try to recreate their nights’ tender relationship, also in broad daylight. A tender story of finding your own path and joining the other. No wonder this film won Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival (in 2017).

Forbidden love: And Then We Danced

This is a love story for Sakartvelo (also known as George, but they prefer to be called in the original name), it’s food, culture, music, and beautiful dance. However, the country is still rather conservative. The dancers aren’t encouraged to bring any fresh ideas. They are told to stick to the tradition. So imagine what happens then in this classic dance ensemble, a boy falls for another boy…  

Tragic love: Transit

Love is a strong feeling. Can it be intellectualized? In the hands of German master Christian Petzold, that’s not a problem. He takes a story of a Second World War refugee escaping France and fasts forward the clock. In today’s world, Georg escapes Paris for Marseille, where under secret identity await his chance to board the ship to America. As the wait goes on, he meets Marie. Love follows, and the question looms to the end will the lovers manage to stay together? A very beautiful and smart film ended up on the favorites list of Barack Obama last year. 

Love for life: Aznavour by Charles

Ok, this is not strictly a film about love. But watch it, and you’ll fall in love with… life itself. Legendary French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour captured the world’s beauty on his 8 mm camera (received from Edith Piaf’s hands!). Not only is his music loved by millions, but also a unique view of the world: French chic, poetic language, and vintage style. 

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