We are great fans of foreign and independent films. I would say of the films we screen at our house, easily half are either foreign or independent. (The other 50 percent comprises something like 30 percent vintage films, and 20 percent new Hollywood offerings.)
Why do we like foreign and independent films so much? Well, aside from the fact they are more competently made, most also have substance and believable characters and plots and logic -- all things missing from most Hollywood films. In addition, foreign films offer a look at another world clearly ignored by Hollywood. I like seeing stories about other people and other lands.
I agree with almost all of the sentiments in this story recently on NPR. Most Americans are missing out on the very best in cinema because they either have no desire to see foreign films (Subtitles? You mean I gotta READ the movie?) or because Hollywood makes it hard for people to find these films.
Well, these movies are available if you expend just a little effort to find them. If they run at your local cinema, go see them. (If they don't, call and ask why not.) If they don't, well, all I can say, is thank the gods for Netflix.