WORLD CINEMA - ONE FILM PER COUNTRY

Ongoing list to attempt a diverse experience. As for 'big movie countries' like the USA I've picked the specific title more or less randomly (among my highest votes of course). As for smaller ones, each the best (in some cases: only one) I've seen.

Sorted alphabetically by country. In case of multiple eras for the same region (e.g. USSR -> Russia) the entries are arranged in historical order, beginning with the actual situation (e.g. to find USSR you don't skip to 'U', but to 'R' for Russia).

The note of each entry is as follows:

Current, common name of the country
→ OFFICIAL NAME OF THE COUNTRY AT THE TIME THE FILM WAS PRODUCED
optional: (date of era)

Population: estimated or census (date)

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(below this line only information about the film - NOT the country)


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1.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits. (95 mins.)
Director: George Miller
“ AUSTRALIA
→ COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

Population: 22,556,732 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: English

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
2.
Funny Games (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two violent young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement. (108 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
“ AUSTRIA
→ REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA (2nd, 1945 - present)

Population: 8,356,707 (2009)

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Also involved: none

Language: German

My vote: 9/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
3.
Man Bites Dog (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A film crew follows a ruthless thief and heartless killer as he goes about his daily routine. But complications set in when the film crew lose their objectivity and begin lending a hand. (95 mins.)
“ BELGIUM
→ KINGDOM OF BELGIUM

Population: 10,827,519 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: French

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
4.
It's Hard to Be Nice (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
(102 mins.)
Director: Srdjan Vuletic
“ BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
→ BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (1992 - present)

Population: 4,613,414 (2009)

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Also involved: UK | Slovenia | Serbia | Germany

Language: Serbian

My vote: 7/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
5.
City of God (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. (130 mins.)
“ BRAZIL
→ FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL

Population: 190,732,694 (2010)

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Also involved: France

Language: Portuguese

My vote: 7/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
6.
Naked Lunch (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally murders his wife and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa. (115 mins.)
“ CANADA
→ CANADA

Population: 34,347,000 (2010)

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Also involved: UK | Japan

Language: English

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
7.
Machuca (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two boys observe a political coup in their native Chile. (116 mins.)
Director: Andrés Wood
“ CHILE
→ REPUBLIC OF CHILE (after military dictatorship, 1980 - present)

Population: 17,094,270 (2010)

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Also involved: Spain | UK | France

Language: Spanish

My vote: 9/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
8.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life. (120 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
“ CHINA
→ PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (1949 - present)

Population: 1,338,612,968 (2010)

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Also involved: Taiwan | Hong Kong | USA

Language: Mandarin

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
9.
Maria Full of Grace (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A pregnant Colombian teenager becomes a drug mule to make some desperately needed money for her family. (101 mins.)
Director: Joshua Marston
“ COLOMBIA
→ REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA

Population: 45,586,233 (2010)

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Also involved: USA | Ecuador

Language: Spanish | English

My vote: 5/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
10.
Alice (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A surrealistic revision of Alice in Wonderland. (86 mins.)
Director: Jan Svankmajer
“ CZECH
→ CZECHOSLOVAKIA (1918 - 1993)

Population: 13,607,385 (1991)

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Also involved: Switzerland | UK | West Germany

Language: Czech

My vote: 7/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
11.
With Blood on My Hands: Pusher II (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Tony is released from prison - again. This time he has his mind set on changing his broken down life, but that is easier said than done. (100 mins.)
“ DENMARK
→ KINGDOM OF DENMARK

Population: 5,557,709 (2010)

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Also involved: UK

Language: Danish | Serbo-Croatian

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
12.
Kadunlakaisijat (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
(80 mins.)
Director: Olli Soinio
“ FINLAND
→ REPUBLIC OF FINLAND (1918 - today)

Population: 5,374,781 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Finnish

My vote: 7/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
13.
The Big Blue (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The rivalry between Enzo and Jacques, two childhood friends and now world-renowned free divers, becomes a beautiful and perilous journey into oneself and the unknown. (168 mins.)
Director: Luc Besson
“ FRANCE
→ FRENCH REPUBLIC (5th, 1958 - present)

Population: 65,447,374 (2010)

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Also involved: USA | Italy

Language: French | English | Italian

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
14.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. (110 mins.)
Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
“ FRANCE
→ FRENCH REPUBLIC (3rd, 1870 - 1940)

Population: 35,565,800 (est)

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Also involved: none

Language: French

My vote: 7/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
15.
A Journey Into Bliss (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
(73 mins.)
Director: Wenzel Storch
“ GERMANY
→ FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY (1991 - present)

Population: 81,757,600 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: German

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
16.
Metropolis (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. (153 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ GERMANY
→ WEIMAR REPUBLIC (1918–1933)


Population: 62,411,000 (1925)

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Also involved: none

Language: German

My vote: 9/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
17.
Hardcore (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Leaving behind a hard life with their families, two young girls end up in a brothel, fall in love and support one another against the adversities and violence of the night. (96 mins.)
Director: Dennis Iliadis
“ GREECE
→ HELLENIC REPUBLIC (1975 - present)


Population: 11,305,118 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Greek

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
18.
Fallen Angels (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A disillusioned killer embarks on his last hit but first he has to overcome his affections for his cool... (96 mins.)
Director: Kar Wai Wong
“ HONG KONG
→ HONG KONG (crown colony until 1997)

Population: 7,055,071 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Cantonese

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
19.
Kontroll (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A tale about a strange young man, Bulcsú, the fellow inspectors on his team, all without exception likeable characters, a rival ticket inspection team, and racing along the tracks... And a tale about love. (105 mins.)
Director: Nimród Antal
“ HUNGARY
→ REPUBLIC OF HUNGARY (3rd, 1989 - present)

Population: 10,005,000 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Hungarian

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
20.
101 Reykjavík (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Thirty-year-old Hlynur still lives with his mother and spends his days drinking, watching porn and surfing... (88 mins.)
“ ICELAND
→ REPUBLIC OF ICELAND (1944 - present)

Population: 318,006 (2010)

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Also involved: Denmark | France | Norway | Germany

Language: Icelandic

My vote: 9/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
21.
Black (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The cathartic tale of a deaf, mute and blind girl, and her teacher who brings a ray of light into her world of BLACK. (122 mins.)
“ INDIA
→ REPUBLIC OF INDIA (1950 - present)

Population: 1,189,830,000 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Hindi | English

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
22.
The Forbidden Door (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The life of a successful sculptor named is turned upside down when he began receiving mysterious messages from someone who asked for his help. (115 mins.)
Director: Joko Anwar
“ INDONESIA
→ REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA (1949 - present)

Population: 238,000,000 (2009)

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Also involved: none

Language: Indonesian

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
23.
The General (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The real-life story of Dublin folk hero and criminal Martin Cahill, who pulled off two daring robberies in Ireland with his team, but attracted unwanted attention from the police, the IRA, the UVF and members of his own team. (124 mins.)
Director: John Boorman
“ IRELAND
→ REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (1949 - present)

Population: 4,470,700 (2010)

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Also involved: UK

Language: English

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
24.
Cemetery Man (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A cemetery man must kill the dead a second time when they become zombies. (105 mins.)
Director: Michele Soavi
“ ITALY
→ ITALIAN REPUBLIC (1946 - present)

Population: 60,418,711 (2010)

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Also involved: France | Germany

Language: Italian

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
25.
The Harder They Come (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Wishing to become a successful Reggae singer, a young Jamaican man finds himself tied to corrupt record producers and drug pushers. (103 mins.)
Director: Perry Henzell
“ JAMAICA
→ JAMAICA (1962 - present)

Population: 2,847,232 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: English

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
26.
Fireworks (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Nishi leaves the police in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into depression, he makes questionable decisions. (103 mins.)
Director: Takeshi Kitano
“ JAPAN
→ STATE OF JAPAN (1947 - present)

Population: 127,360,000 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Japanese

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
27.
El Topo (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters. (125 mins.)
“ MEXICO
→ UNITED MEXICAN STATES

Population: 112,322,757 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Spanish

My vote: 9/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
28.
Black Book (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance. (145 mins.)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
“ NETHERLANDS
→ NETHERLANDS

Population: 16,634,400 (2010)

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Also involved: Germany | Belgium

Language: Dutch | English | German | Hebrew

My vote: 9/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
29.
Dead Alive (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors. (104 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ NEW ZEALAND
→ NEW ZEALAND (1986 - present)

Population: 4,367,700 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: English

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
30.
Dead Snow (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies. (90 mins.)
Director: Tommy Wirkola
“ NORWAY
→ KINGDOM OF NORWAY (1905 - 1940 & 1945 - today)

Population: 4,917,900 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Norwegian

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
31.
Avalon (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In a future world, young people are increasingly becoming addicted to an illegal (and potentially deadly) battle simulation game called Avalon... (107 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Oshii
“ POLAND
→ REPUBLIC OF POLAND (3rd, 1990 - today)

Population: 38,192,000 (2010)

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Also involved: Japan

Language: Polish

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
32.
Solaris (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane. (167 mins.)
“ RUSSIA
→ USSR (1922–1991)

Population: 290,100,023 (1991)

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Also involved: none

Language: Russian

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
33.
Singapore Dreaming (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
When Loh wins the lottery, his family believes the money will deliver them from their struggles. However, he dies abruptly, pitching the family into a battle where the stakes are the very meaning of life itself. (105 mins.)
“ SINGAPORE
→ REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE (1965 - present)

Population: 5,076,700 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Mandarin | Hokkien | English | Cantonese

My vote: 6/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
34.
Oldboy (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days. (120 mins.)
Director: Chan-wook Park
“ SOUTH KOREA
→ REPUBLIC OF KOREA (1948 - present)

Population: 48,875,000 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Korean

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
35.
Dance with the Devil (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A psychotic criminal couple kidnaps a random teenage couple. The woman rapes the male captive, and lets him watch his lover being raped by the man. They then plan to sacrifice the couple. (126 mins.)
“ SPAIN
→ KINGDOM OF SPAIN (1978 - present)

Population: 46,030,109 (2010)

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Also involved: Mexico | USA

Language: English | Spanish

My vote: 8/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
36.
Lilya 4-Ever (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Sixteen-year-old Lilja and her only friend, the young boy Volodja, live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej, who is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life. (109 mins.)
Director: Lukas Moodysson
“ SWEDEN
→ KINGDOM OF SWEDEN

Population: 9,354,462 (2009)

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Also involved: Denmark

Language: Russian | Swedish | English

My vote 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
37.
Dangerous Moves (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Two masters of chess duel each other not only in their game but also in their different ideologies.... (110 mins.)
Director: Richard Dembo
“ SWITZERLAND
→ SWISS CONFEDERATION

Population: 7,785,600 (2009)

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Also involved: France

Language: French

My vote: 6/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
38.
Invisible Waves (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
After inadvertently killing his girlfriend, a man (Asano) flees Macau for Thailand in an attempt to cope with his guilt, and avoid possible arrest. But the relocation doesn't prevent his problems from following him, as his new friends could be potential enemies. (115 mins.)
“ THAILAND
→ KINGDOM OF THAILAND (under the 1997 Constitution of Thailand, 1997 - 2006)

Population: 65,998,436 (2010)

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Also involved: Hong Kong | South Korea

Language: Thai | English | Japanese | Korean

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
39.
Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
Two space cadets crash-land on a desert planet, where an evil wizard seeks the ultimate power to take over the world. Although the movie borrows some background footage from Star Wars, the plot is mostly unrelated. (91 mins.)
Director: Çetin Inanç
“ TURKEY
→ REPUBLIC OF TURKEY (1923 - today)

Population: 77,804,122 (2010)

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Also involved: none

Language: Turkish

My vote: 8/10 (trash-bonus) ” - bob-ktown
 
40.
A Room for Romeo Brass (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Two twelve-year-old boys, Romeo and Gavin, undergo an extraordinary test of character and friendship when Morell... (90 mins.)
Director: Shane Meadows
“ UNITED KINGDOM
→ UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN ISLAND
(1922 - today)

Population: 62,041,708 (2010)

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Also involved: Canada

Language: English

My vote: 9/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
41.
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life. (229 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone
“ USA
→ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Population: 310,906,000 (2010)

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Also involved: Italy

Language: English

My vote: 10/10 ” - bob-ktown
 
42.
Owl and the Sparrow (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In modern-day Saigon, three lonely strangers form a unique family as a ten-year old orphan plays matchmaker to a zookeeper and a beautiful flight attendant. (97 mins.)
Director: Stephane Gauger
“ VIETNAM
→ SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (1976 - present)

Population: 85,846,997 (2009)

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Also involved: USA

Language: Vietnamese

My vote: 7/10 ” - bob-ktown