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- Deployed in Monster in an interesting way: Tenma, the Japanese protagonist, is the audience's tie to the foreign backdrop of Germany and Czechoslovakia. Additionally, Tenma himself uses this trope as a cover for his research, claiming that his interests in Cold War secret police operations and organizations stem from a new Japanese fad.
Films — Live-Action
- Contrary to what its title and marketing suggest, The Last King of Scotland is not so much about Idi Amin as about the fictional doctor Nicholas Garrigan who befriends him and gradually becomes disillusioned with his regime. Forrest Whitaker's Amin still steals the show, though.
- In The Year of Living Dangerously, the period leading up to Indonesia's 1966 coup d'état is presented through the eyes of two Australian journalists and a British civil servant.
- Played straight and then averted in The Killing Fields. The first half of the movie shows the American reporter Sydney Schanberg trying to escape from Cambodia in 1973. In the second part, Dith Pran - Sydney's Cambodian interpreter - finds himself stranded in Cambodia and caught up in the genocide. This is notably one of the few films in which a native of the country in question is allowed to become the film's protagonist.
- Blood Diamond partially subverts this by having an African among its main characters, but most of the perspective is provided by a Western journalist.
- Reds. The Russian Revolution as experienced by journalist John Reed (based on his novel 10 Days That Shook The World).
- Averted, strangely enough in the Alfred Hitchcock film Foreign Correspondent, where the editor states from the off-set that he does not want another foreign correspondent in Europe. He sends a crime reporter instead, who still gets embroiled in the start-up to World War II.
- Raymond Burr as reporter Steve Martin in the US cuts of the original Godzilla and Godzilla 1985.
- The movie Flowers of War is about the Rape of Nanjing and focuses on a group of Chinese women struggling to stay safe - yet for some reason the story takes the viewpoint of an alcoholic white American man who just happened to be there.
- Although Gandhi is primarily told through the eyes of its title character, chunks of it are also shown via various white foreigners, despite the fact that there are numerous Indian characters of much more historical significance on hand.
- You might not believe this, but Titanic (1997), despite ostensibly being a love story between two fictional Americans aboard a historical British ship, one first class and one steerage, actually avoids this trope because the most numerous nationality among first class passengers and the second most numerous among steerage passengers, was indeed American. If anything, it's the lack of American passengers in steerage other than Jack that is an issue.
- Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia. American newspaper reporter William Weston visits the title country, which was formerly part of the U.S.
- Not quite every one of their novels is like this, but a large percentage of Eric Ambler and Graham Greene's novels are. For example The Quiet American, described below, as well as Our Man in Havana, in which the foreign correspondent is a vacuum cleaner salesman in pre-Castro Cuba.
- Evelyn Waugh's novel Scoop is a comic novel version of this — the protagonist and many supporting characters are all journalists covering an Eastern African country likely based on Ethiopia.
- Some novels of the French author Jules Verne have Frenchmen in relatively passive "observer roles" among an otherwise non-French cast. Examples are Passepartout in Around the World in 80 Days or Professor Aronnax in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (although the educational element in aforementioned novels is less about politics, and more about science and geography).
- Many of the books of Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson. The latter even manages to do it while travelling in a country he lives in, or where he spend his early years.
- The Quiet American is largely about the rivalry between a young American man and an older British man for the affection of a Vietnamese girl. This soap-opera takes place against the backdrop of civil conflict in 1950s Vietnam. It's also symbolic of the conflict—the aging European powers losing their grip on the world, the idealistic Americans trying to make a difference and not entirely understanding what they're getting into, and the Third World, caught between them.
- Newspaper editor William de Worde's cameo appearance in Monstrous Regiment offers an outsider's perspective into the crazy closed country of Borogravia. His insights even offer native characters a chance to see their country as it is viewed from the outside.
- A couple in World War Z. One is a Canadian Spec Op to show the start of the plague in Afganistan. Another is the Englishman who explains about castles in the war. Notably, most Americans avert this trope and fight on America's soil, therefore averting America Saves the Day, which usually plague the genre.
- Harry Turtledove milks this trope dry, though he probably does best the few times he inverts it and uses an exotic foreign correspondent to describe a place the Anglo-Saxon author would be more familiar with. Examples include Spanish soldier Lope de Vega on occupation duty in England in ''Ruled Britannia'', and German military attaché to the United States Alfred von Schlieffen in "How Few Remain".