6 TCK Movies that happen to be my favorites

Last week we looked at some Kids movies that Third Culture Kids (TCKs) can relate to.  This week, have a look at 6 of MY favorite “Grown-Up” movies which I think TCKs will be able to relate well with.  Check them out!

Note: Third Culture Kids is a term that describes those individuals that spend a significant amount of time growing up in a culture that is different than their parents’ or passport culture.

  1. Lion
  2. The Interpreter
  3. The Terminal
  4. The Legend of Tarzan
  5. Spanglish
  6. The Last Samurai

Scroll down to see
why each of these movies make the list


Image result for Lion movie


1. Lion:
A phenomenal movie based on the true story of a TCK… a 5 year old Indian boy who becomes lost and eventually adopted by an Australian family, and about his story as an adult trying to find the family in India that he had lost as a boy.  This movie shows a TCK’s exploration of culture shock, identity, and finding out where is home and what does family mean among the adopted?



Image result for The INterpreter


2. The Interpreter:
Featuring a TCK as the main character, the Interpreter tells the tale of a Silvia Broome, a woman who overhears an assassination plot in her work with the United Nations.  Silvia truly shows the “chameleon” aspects of TCKs since she appears to be American and acts American, but there are some moments in her speech and her storytelling that reveal her roots in Africa.

Image result for the terminal



3. The Terminal:  A fascinating, fun, and true story of a man who literally does not belong in any country.   The situation is finely explained when airport director tells our character Viktor, “You are a citizen of nowhere.”  Our main character is not actually a TCK, but he is living out of an airport, experiencing culture shock, and caught in the midst of transition…there are so many great aspects of this movie that TCKs can relate to.


Image result for Tarzan the movie


4. The Legend of Tarzan:  Not everyone liked this movie, but I LOVED it!  Though Tarzan is the more obvious “TCK” in this movie, it’s Jane who really caught my attention, especially since her experience is more realistic and relate-able.  It’s great to see how the movie captures how easily Jane fits in England while still showing her deeper love for the African culture she grew up in and the way she easily transitions back into that culture.



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5. Spanglish:
A Mexican immigrant immigrates to America with her daughter and finds herself working as a maid for a wealthy Californian family.  This movie is funny, beautiful, and shows some very insightful moments into the interesting balance between a mother and her daughter who is adjusting to the American culture faster than her.



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6. The Last Samurai:
The Last Samurai is not about a TCK, but it IS a movie that I think TCKs will appreciate.  In the midst of war against the Samurai, a military adviser finds himself living among his enemy and learning the Samurai way.  TCKs will appreciate the familiar transition of culture…and even of identity.




Featured image from

2 thoughts on “6 TCK Movies that happen to be my favorites”

  1. Good post and good idea. I guess by the definition you’ve provided I’m a bit of a TCK myself. I haven’t seen Tarzan or The Interpreter as yet, but I’ll certainly add them to my ever-growing list of movies that I need to watch 😛

    Also, would you be interested in sharing your work on Movie Pilot? I’d like to invite you to the platform as one of our content creators. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail, my contact details are on my “About” page. (o^.^)b

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and I’m glad you are able to identify yourself as a TCK! It’s also good to meet another movie fan 🙂

      You are welcome to re-post this on your blog (with citation to this site). I guess any further content would depend on what you are looking for?

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