I'd tend to recommend films with a straight forward narrative. I know when I first started getting into foreign films it was because of films like Kurosawa's Rashomon and The Seven Samurai, and Bergman's Seventh Seal. Rashomon isn't exactly a straight forward narrative, but it's easy to understand that it's a story told from four different perspectives. Pather Panchali is a good film for beginners, a well told, conventional story with a good rhythm. Although, to be honest, something modern like Amelie really is perfect, especially given it's conventional ending. That isn't to say that new viewers can't appreciate a "cinema of ideas", I just think it's better to see the great storytellers first.