America, at the Movies

From a reader:

Mr. Goldberg,

I have a co-worker who is a 38-year-old Muslim from Niger.  (Trust me, if all Muslims were like him, we’d have no problems.)  He is here on a permanent visa and plans on eventually becoming a citizen.

With some prodding from him, I have taken upon myself the task of assigning him a list of movies he needs to see in order to explain America and its myriad cultures to him.  For starters, I’ve taken the list of AFI’s Top 100 American movies and I plan on culling through that (there’s no point in him seeing Amadeus) to produce a coherent list.

But I’d love it if you could ask your readers…are there some movies that perhaps wouldn’t make a Best Movie list that I should include anyway?  My only criterion is that the film has to delve into a different subculture of American life, either past or present.  Whether or not you like a movie is not relevant.  (For example, as much as I don’t care for it myself, I feel compelled to include Chinatown on the list.)

Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Okay folks, as I’m not going to be around much today, please make suggestions in the comments section.

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