CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (2000)

Your reader poll winner is a high-flying martial arts extravaganza that I think was the first subtitled movie I (and lots of other people) saw in a theater.

LA REGLE DE JEU (1939)

A French masterpiece about upper-class romantic games, played blithely as the world teeters on disaster.

THE SILENCES OF THE PALACE (1994)

The story of women trapped and exploited in a gilded cage, the first film by a female director to come out of the Arab World.

LA NOIRE DE… (1966)

The first film from Sub-Saharan Africa to make a big splash in Europe and the US, its story about the toll of colonization is very relevant even today.

MADCHEN IN UNIFORM (1931)

Maybe the first feature film dealing with themes of homosexuality, it feels surprisingly fresh today.