I will start with 2020, but we can go both backwards and forwards. These are films that, in my opinion, represent (in some significant sense) the essence of that year, hopefully globally. A good example is In the Year of the Pig (Emile de Antonio) (1968), which is already listed on this blog as a Great Documentary.
Don’t go by the title of the above film (or any film), by the way. The film says much more than the title, obviously.
More often, a film suits not just an year, but an era (or more). There is already a section on Movies for the 21st Century. Don’t miss that if you want to make sense of 21C.
- 2020: La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir) (1937)