December 2013

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Cover Story

Grenada's New War:
Battling Climate Change

a4.grenada.beach.homeWith memories of destructive hurricanes still fresh on their minds, Grenadians today are less focused on the 1983 U.S. invasion that put their country on the map, and more on fighting the natural forces that threaten to wipe their tiny island off that map. Read More 

People of World Influence

Scholar Pins Congressional
Dysfunction Squarely on GOP

a1.powi.ornstein.homePolitical go-to pundit Norman Ornstein says he's never seen Washington this broken in his entire lifetime, and he doesn't mince words over who's to blame for the sabotage. Read More


Congress Takes on OAS

Congress to OAS: Shape Up
Or Face Fiscal Consequences

a2.oas.reform.insulza.homeAfter years of complaining that the Organization of American has become a bloated, unwieldy, irrelevant bureaucracy, Congress finally managed to come together to put their money where their mouth is. Read More


Religious Tolerance

Threats Against Christians
Intensify Around World

a3.coptic.cathedral.khartoum.homeAs political turmoil in the Muslim world exacerbates sectarian tensions, religious minorities such as Christians are finding themselves increasingly in the line of fire, putting the squeeze on a population whose numbers have already dwindled over the past century in the region. Read More


Energy Matrix

Experts Debate Mideast's Future
As Worldwide Energy Supplier

a5.arab.energy.libya.homeFour decades after the Arab oil embargo realigned the geopolitical map, another seismic shift is changing the energy landscape, forcing both producers and consumers to rethink their traditional roles. Read More


The Rotunda: Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill

Hyperpolarization Plagues U.S.
Politics, Freezes Policymaking

a6.shutdown.polarization.homeHyperpolarization. It sounds like a science fiction plot device or a molecular term in biology class, but it's a very real phenomenon infecting Washington, with no cure in sight. Read More


Medical

The Cancer Test You May
Want to Skip, But Shouldn't

a7.medical.endoscope.homeIt's the one cancer screening test that's been universally shown to be effective. Yet it's also the one test most people prefer to avoid — one out of every three people, in fact. Read More


   

Scholar Pins Congressional Dysfunction Squarely on GOP

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By Michael Coleman

Over the last four decades, Norman Ornstein has cultivated a reputation in Washington as the go-to guy for journalists in need of astute, clear-eyed congressional analysis.

From his perch at the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank, Ornstein regularly dispenses quotes and context that have helped legions of reporters, and their readers, better understand the Byzantine world of congressional politics and policy. And for 30 years or so, Ornstein had Congress’s back.

“In the final analysis, I’m a defender of Congress,” Ornstein told the New York Times in the mid-1980s. “If [American founding father] James Madison were here today and looked at Congress, he’d say, ‘This is what we envisioned.’”

a1.powi.ornstein.story
Photo: Jay Westcott / American Enterprise Institute
Norman Ornstein

Oh, how times have changed. Today, Ornstein churns out blistering critiques of Congress — and especially Republicans — in his role as columnist for the Atlantic and National Journal, as well as in frequent radio and television interviews. Ornstein recently teamed up with Thomas Mann, a congressional scholar at the Brookings Institution, to write the 2012 book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.” In the tome, the two left-leaning but typically even-handed experts place the blame for Congress’s current abysmal state squarely on the shoulders of Republicans.

Republicans “have become more loyal to party than to country,” the authors charged. “The political system has become grievously hobbled at a time when the country faces unusually serious problems and grave threats.”

Ornstein and Mann conclude that, “The country is squandering its economic future and putting itself at risk because of an inability to govern effectively.”

The New York Times bestseller was named one of 2012’s best books on politics by the New Yorker and one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post.

In a recent interview with The Washington Diplomat shortly after the government shutdown ended and Congress finally agreed to raise the debt ceiling so America could pay her bills (for now), Ornstein said the partisanship has effectively sabotaged the nation.

“I’ve never seen our system this dysfunctional in my lifetime and in 44 years of being directly immersed in it in Washington,” Ornstein lamented, his brightly striped socks adding a splash of color to a conservative suit. “This is worse than I’ve ever seen it.”

Hailing from Minnesota, Ornstein earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and his master’s and doctorate from the University of Michigan before landing in Washington. His lifelong fascination with Congress began in the early 1970s, when he arrived in the nation’s capital on a fellowship with the American Political Science Association. He went on to work for several members of Congress and eventually migrated to the American Enterprise Institute, part time in 1974 and then full time in 1980. AEI is solidly conservative and considered fairly “establishment,” but Ornstein said he’s never been scolded by his bosses for espousing left-leaning political sensibilities.

“Nobody here ever says anything to me that is the equivalent of ‘you can’t write or say that,’” Ornstein told us, adding that he has “nice and congenial relations” with his colleagues, although they sometimes write rejoinders to op-ed pieces he publishes around town.

“That’s fine — that’s the way it’s supposed to work,” he said. “I’m still happy here even if I know I give a lot of heartburn to some of the powers that be.”

Ornstein (not known as a political bomb-thrower) asserted that the most recent congressional crisis — a 16-day partial government shutdown in early October, coupled with a near default on the nation’s credit — was almost entirely the Republicans’ fault. The seeds for the current congressional gridlock were planted when President Obama was sworn into office in 2009, he said, and the time-honored tradition of compromise went out the window.

“Republicans decided at that point that they were going to unify and vote against anything Obama wanted to do, even if they agreed with him,” Ornstein asserted. “You saw it right away with [GOP opposition to] the economic stimulus package.”

Ornstein said that at the height of the banking and foreclosure crisis, Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who was then chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, called the ranking Republican on the committee, Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, into his office. Obey asked Lewis what Republicans wanted to see — or not see — in a stimulus package.

“Obey said, ‘The economy is on its back. Go work with your leaders and rank-and-file members and ask what they want or don’t want,’” according to Ornstein.

Lewis replied that House Republican leaders had instructed him to resist any deal on a stimulus package.

“You have smoking guns here that are very clear,” Ornstein said, adding that the GOP’s refusal to negotiate in good faith extended to the crafting of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. “It turned into a desire to use Obamacare as a sort of catch-all to channel a hatred of Obama and disaffections with what’s going on.”

(Ornstein blames the administration for the rocky rollout of Obamacare, although he also points out that the law — with its individual mandate and private insurance exchanges — is fundamentally a conservative plan.)

Ornstein said Republicans devised new ways to thwart Obama’s agenda, including an unrelenting wave of filibusters and, most recently, ransoming the debt ceiling to extract social spending cuts and a flurry of other demands.

“They were using this in ways they had not been used before, [as] real hostages, not as levers where you are negotiating and where in the end you’re not going to play games with the full faith and credit of the United States,” Ornstein said. “But you had one side saying, ‘Oh, yes we will.’”

The political scholar ditches academic niceties to blast Republicans for embracing tactics that he said would’ve been unthinkable not that long ago.

“The idea of threatening default in a real way — demanding outlandish concessions with a loaded gun to the country’s head — only emerged in 2011,” Ornstein argued in a recent National Journal piece, in which he said that any concessions by Obama on the debt ceiling or continuing resolution would ensure that basic government functions would “become regular instruments of extortion in the future.”

Ornstein says Democrats — widely viewed as having won this last round of brinkmanship for not caving into GOP demands to defund Obamacare — have actually capitulated a great deal, in particular by agreeing to trillions of dollars in spending cuts that he says are disastrous for America’s long-term economic health.

Beyond the downgrade in credit and reputation that America has suffered over the debt ceiling and government funding fights, Ornstein says the effects of the sequester budget cuts (which, he points out, were deemed so harmful that no one ever thought they’d go into effect) are far more insidious. “The FBI has had to reduce its focus on white-collar and organized crime to deal with the higher, immediate priority of cybersecurity. The food-inspection infrastructure has been hit, reducing the number of inspectors in the U.S. and in foreign plants that ship food to the United States,” he wrote in an Oct. 16 column. “Basic research, as I have written before, is taking devastating hits…. Some of the damage will never be repaired. And the nation’s economy will grow more slowly, adding to our deficits and debt.”

That epic battle over deficits and debt has given rise to what Ornstein bluntly calls zealots and ideologues.

“No matter what the damage is in the short run, [Republicans] unleashed a set of forces that pragmatism couldn’t control,” Ornstein said of about 80 tea party and ultra-conservative Republican House members that spearheaded the most recent funding showdown. “The radical fringe of the party has become the driver.”

The tea party, a fiscally conservative wing of the Republican Party, obviously doesn’t see it that way. Many argued fiercely that raising the debt limit should not happen unless there was a corresponding reduction in federal spending.

“In a sane Washington, hitting the debt ceiling over and over would cause a change in behavior on spending,” said a statement on the Tea Party Patriots’s website as the government shutdown came to a close in mid-October. “However, that takes political courage, and as we’ve seen in recent months, bravery in Congress is an endangered species.”

Ornstein, though, levels similar charges against mainstream conservatives for bowing to “radicals” who aren’t interested in limiting government, but are out to demolish it altogether.

On that front, he says House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is in a particularly difficult position. Ornstein said Boehner’s instinct is to cut pragmatic deals to avert fiscal crises, but he faces mutiny by a sizeable minority within his caucus. The elimination of earmarks a few years back also prevents Boehner from enticing wayward members with pork barrel projects in their home districts.

“Boehner has a relatively small majority, 231 to 200, but in effect he has about 80 members who distrust their own leadership,” he said, calling Boehner’s leadership “passive-aggressive.”

Ornstein said the speaker can’t force his troops to chart a moderate course with him, so he has to work with Democrats to get anything passed through the chamber at all — something he’s been reluctant to do because it weakens him in the eyes of his own party (and breaks the informal Hastert rule, whereby the House speaker won’t introduce legislation that doesn’t have the backing of the majority of the Republican Party). The result is that the House has increasingly become the place where legislation goes to die.

“There are only so many times you can bring up bills where you lose the vast majority of your own party and are passing them on the back of the other party,” Ornstein noted.

He said Boehner will typically let the House’s far right flank make noise and obstruct, and then he occasionally — at the last minute in the case of the recent debt ceiling debacle — makes a deal with Democrats. In this case, tea party Republicans in the House gave the speaker a pass.

“It’s a weird dynamic. It keeps him in power and keeps his own party from wanting to tar and feather him and ride him out on a rail, but it also costs the country $23 billion in the process,” Ornstein said, referring to the estimated losses that the 16-day government shutdown cost the national economy.

Despite House Republicans’ general ineffectiveness — and they’re getting hammered in national approval polls — Ornstein said Boehner is likely to hold onto his leadership post, at least until the 2014 midterm elections.

But that doesn’t mean the tea party wing will particularly care if the speaker continues to stumble politically.

“They get elected individually so the speaker’s endorsement [of their re-election campaigns] or lack of it will make no difference to them. They are far more worried about a challenge from the right,” Ornstein pointed out.

On that note, he criticizes the redistricting that has created “homogeneous echo chambers” and made House Republicans immune to larger political trends and public opinion. Rather, their main concern is losing their jobs to a more hard-line candidate in a primary challenge.

He also decries the flood of outside money from groups such as Heritage Action and the Koch brothers to cleanse the party of moderates, fueling a toxic environment where some Republicans are only interested in attacking the administration on anything from Benghazi to Obamacare, rather than working with it to break the legislative standstill.

In addition to genuine GOP antipathy toward Obama, Ornstein cited the party’s aversion to taxes as the root of current government dysfunction. Since 1986, Americans for Tax Reform, a taxpayer advocacy group led by Grover Norquist, has convinced a large swath of Republicans in Congress to oppose any new taxes, under any circumstances. (In 2011, all of the Republican presidential hopefuls famously said they would reject a deficit deal that gave them $10 worth of tax cuts in return for $1 in tax increases.)

In the 112th Congress of 2011 and 2012, all but six of the 242 Republican members plus two Democrats in the House of Representatives — a majority of that body — signed Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge. All but seven of 47 Senate Republicans, plus one Democrat, also signed the pledge.

“The key to any agreement that would have really moved us much further along to getting the economy revitalized and stabilizing the debt at a reasonable level was blocked by a rigid pledge that basically paralyzed the possibility of compromise,” Ornstein argues.

He told us that some modest “revenue” — tax increases, user fees or closing international banking loopholes — would have helped stabilize the American economy more quickly after the economic crash of 2008.

“It’s become almost religious among the activist rank and file,” Ornstein said of the Republican anti-tax mantra. “You also have the [conservative, anti-tax] Club for Growth ready to pounce and primary anybody with a lot of money who decided to support anything defined as a tax increase. It’s this mania — no taxes at any time, no matter what, whether you’re in good times or bad times.”

Ornstein suggested that this intransigence missed a prime opportunity to turn the recent bad times around.

“The great frustration for me is that we were not far away, in 2009 to 2011, from recovering dramatically from this economic malaise,” he said. “A little bit of movement on revenues also would have stabilized to some degree the big programs — Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security — that are going to be the drivers of government growth for several years simply because we’re growing older and living longer.”

Ornstein said that if the U.S. government had added some tax revenue “and put some money into infrastructure and getting the economy moving in the short run, we would have seen the economy take off.”

He also suggested it could have helped pull other countries out of their economic doldrums.

“Corporations had almost $2 trillion in cash they were holding onto and not investing out of uncertainty,” he said. “It would have had a sort of upward spiral effect. It also would have had a dramatic impact on the global economy. It was only political dysfunction that kept us from doing that.”

Despite his dismay at the polarization and paralysis of today’s Congress, Ornstein said the United States is actually faring pretty well compared to other top-tier economies.

“We’re doing better than European countries, including Britain,” he said. “We’re finding that even some command-and-control economies like China are struggling now. We’re at least getting some growth even if it is sluggish growth.

“European countries that have doubled and tripled down on austerity have discovered that it doesn’t work, but they keep doing it,” Ornstein said, adding that government gridlock is not endemic only to the United States. “Divided government is becoming sort of the norm around the world in Western countries.”

Nevertheless, the world is increasingly worried about America’s broken Congress.

“From what I can see, including my own discussions with ambassadors around town, it matters,” he said. “They understand this isn’t just politics as usual.”

And it’s not just amusing political theater to them, either.

“They’re worried for a number of reasons — our allies, particularly, but other countries are as well,” Ornstein said. “If you’re looking realistically at who is going to be a force in the world, no one is going to fill that vacuum if the United States leaves it. That’s not a good thing for stability, freedom, democracy and all kinds of other values.

“They also recognize that given the size of the American economy, if we keep doing things out of political dysfunction that hampers growth and adds to our own unemployment and our known economic inequality, it’s going to be bad for the rest of the world,” Ornstein added. “We now live in an interconnected global economy, so you can’t root for other countries to crater because it will bring you down as well.”


About the Author

Michael Coleman is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

   

Congress to OAS: Shape Up or Face Consequences

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Congress to OAS: Shape Up or Face Consequences
   

Threats Against Christians Intensify Around World

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By Saba Imtiaz

Read more: Threats Against Christians Intensify Around World
   

Grenada’s New War: Battling Climate Change

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Grenada’s New War: Battling Climate Change
   

Experts Debate Mideast’s Future As Worldwide Energy Supplier

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Experts Debate Mideast’s Future As Worldwide Energy Supplier
   

Hyperpolarization Plagues U.S. Politics, Freezes Policymaking

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By Luke Jerod Kummer

Read more: Hyperpolarization Plagues U.S. Politics, Freezes Policymaking
   

The Cancer Test You May Want to Skip, But Shouldn’t

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By Gina Shaw

Read more: The Cancer Test You May Want to Skip, But Shouldn’t
   

Stores Galore Offer Bounty of Gift Options

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

Read more: Stores Galore Offer Bounty of Gift Options
   

Diplomatic Shopping Snapshot: What’s on Ambassadors’ Wish Lists?

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

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Landmark ‘Yoga’ Exhibit Is a Spiritual Stretch Back in Time

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By Sarah Alaoui

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Third Time’s the Charm for Kazakh Couple

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By Gail Scott

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Colaizzo Tries Too Hard to Break Façade of Privileged Angst

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By Lisa Troshinsky

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Phillips Collections Reveals Method to Van Gogh’s Madness

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By Kat Lucero

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‘Broken Roots’ Captures Different Side of Political Debate

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By Dena Levitz

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Italian Global Brand Piola Churns Out Pizza, Plus So Much More

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By Rachel G. Hunt

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‘Great Beauty’ Pays Tribute to Fellini’s Roman Epic

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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Films - December 2013

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By Cari

Languages

Bengali

Danish

French

Hungarian

Lithuanian

Portuguese

Spanish


Bulgarian

Dutch

German

Italian

Luxembourgish

Romanian

Swedish


Croatian

English

Greek

Kannada

Malayalam

Slovak

Czech

Flemish

Hebrew

Latvian

Polish

Slovenian

Bengali

Devi (aka The Goddess)
Directed by Satyajit Ray
(India, 1960, 93 min.)
Set in rural Bengal in 1860, the great Sharmila Tagore gives a mesmerizing performance as a young wife whose father-in-law becomes convinced she is an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Kali, which sets off a confrontation with her worldly husband.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 8, 2 p.m.

Bulgarian

The Last Black Sea Pirates
(Poslednite chernomorski pirati)
Directed by Svetoslav Stoyanov
(Bulgaria, 2013, 72 min.)
In this documentary, Captain Jack and his ragtag bunch of chancers roam a remote Black Sea beach, hoping to scavenge — what else? — lost treasure.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 7, 11:10 a.m.,
Wed., Dec. 11, 9:20 p.m.

Croatian

Night Boats
(Nocni brodovi)
Directed by Igor Mirkovic
(Croatia/Serbia/Slovenia, 2012, 101 min.)
Senior citizen Helena (has settled into her twilight years at a sleepy nursing home in Zagreb, but sparks fly after a chance encounter in the elevator with a new arrival, and soon both yearn to break out.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 8, 3:15 p.m.,
Mon., Dec. 9, 5:20 p.m.

The Priest's Children
(Svecenikova djeca)
Directed by Vinko Bresan
(Croatia/Serbia/Montenegro, 2013, 93 min.)
A young Catholic priest takes subversive action to enforce the church's position on birth control among his flock, and soon has a baby boom on his hands.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 7, 3:15 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 8, 8 p.m.

Czech

Burning Bush
Directed by Agnieszka Holland
(Czech Republic, 2013, 240 min.)
Agnieszka Holland's new three-part miniseries for HBO Europe is shown in its entirety, as it follows Czech student Jan Palach's dramatic self-immolation in 1969 as a political protest against the Soviet invasion, after which the regime attempted to downplay Palach's sacrifice and conceal its own totalitarian brutality.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 1, 3:30 p.m.

The Don Juans
(Donsajni)
Directed by Jirí Menzel
(Czech Republic, 2013, 100 min.)
When a small-town opera company mounts a production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni," passions run high both on stage and behind the scenes.
AFI Silver Theatre
Tue., Dec. 17, 7:10 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 22, 3:40 p.m.

Danish

The Keeper of Lost Causes
(Kvinden i buret)
Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard
(Denmark/Germany/Sweden, 2013, 97 min.)
After being shot in the line of duty, Mørck is sent to work in the dingy basement office administrating cold cases, where he revisits the "suicide" of a successful politician, only to find that she might still be alive.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 7, 7:20 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 12, 7:10 p.m.

Dutch

The Deflowering of Eva van End
(De Ontmaagding van Eva van End)
Directed by Michiel ten Horn
(Netherlands, 2012, 98 min.)
Eva van End is a 15-year-old loser, ignored by her dysfunctional family and laughed at by the kids in school. But things change after a strapping German exchange student joins the family (Dutch, English and German).
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 6, 5:15 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 12, 7:15 p.m.

English

Alan Partridge
Directed by Declan Lowney
(U.K., 2013, 90 min.)
Steve Coogan's signature comic creation, the cringe- inducing, self-aggrandizing media personality Alan Partridge, has seen his career trajectory rise and fall, from regional radio presenter to national TV talk-show host and back again.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.

The Book Thief
Directed by Brian Percival
(U.S./Germany, 2013, 135 min.)
While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, a young girl finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

A Field in England
Directed by Ben Wheatley
(U.K., 2013, 91 min.)
Ben Wheatley returns with his most audacious film yet, a psychedelic period piece involving witchcraft, skullduggery and magic mushrooms, set among a group of deserters from the English Civil War.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 6, 10:15 p.m.,
Sat., Dec. 7, 9:30 p.m.

Grand Piano
Directed by Eugenio Mira
(Spain, 2012, 90 min.)
Lured out of retirement, disgraced pianist Tom Selznick attempts to conquer his nerves and rejuvenate his career with a tribute performance to his mentor.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.,
Sat., Dec. 7, 10:30 p.m.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Directed by Peter Jackson
(U.S./New Zealand, 2013
The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim their homeland from Smaug the dragon.
Area theaters
Opens Fri., Dec. 13

The Last Days on Mars
Directed by Ruairi Robinson
(U.K./Ireland, 2013, 98 min.)
A group of astronaut explorers succumb one by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Dec. 13

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Directed by Justin Chadwick
(U.K./South Africa, 2013, 141 min.)
Based on the 1994 autobiography of the same name, "Mandela" chronicles the inspirational life of Nelson Mandela as an international icon and one of the world's most revered leaders (English, Afrikaans and Xhosa).
Angelika Mosaic
Opens Wed., Dec. 25

One Chance
Directed by David Frankel
(U.K./U.S., 2013, 103 min.)
In this inspiring true story, Paul Potts, a cell phone salesman in Wales, realizes his long-held dream to make it as an opera singer after he wins "Britain's Got Talent."
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 14, 8 p.m.

Philomena
Directed by Stephen Frears
(U.K./U.S./France, 2013, 98 min.)
A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Saving Mr. Banks
Directed by John Lee Hancock
(U.S./U.K./Australia, 2013, 125 min.)
Author P.L. Travers reflects on her difficult childhood while meeting with filmmaker Walt Disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, "Mary Poppins."
Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., Dec. 20
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Dec. 13

The Sea
Directed by Stephen Brown
(Ireland/U.K., 2013, 86 min.)
A man struggles with the cottage let by Miss Vavasour, the very same one at which he spent a fateful summer some 50 years earlier in this probing meditation on love, memory and loss.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 21, 6 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 22, 1:45 p.m.

Swandown
Directed by Andrew Kötting
(U.K., 2012, 98 min.)
Artist Andrew Kötting and writer Iain Sinclair spent four weeks in a white plastic swan boat traveling a water route to the London Olympics from Hastings in East Sussex.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 15, 4:30 p.m.

Walking with Dinosaurs 3D
Directed by Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale
(U.K./U.S./Australia, 2013)
See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, in a story where an underdog dino triumphs to become a hero for the ages.
Area theaters
Opens Fri., Dec. 20

Le Week-End
Directed by Roger Michell
(U.K., 2013, 93 min.)
A middle-age academic couple from England celebrates their 30th anniversary in Paris, the site of their honeymoon, but after a series of mishaps, will the City of Lights rekindle their love, or snuff it out?
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 7, 8:30 p.m.

Flemish

The Broken Circle Breakdown
Directed by Felix Van Groeningen
(Belgium/Netherlands, 2012, 110 min.)
Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight. They bond over their shared enthusiasm for American music and dive headfirst into a sweeping romance — but when an unexpected tragedy hits their new family, everything they know and love is tested (Flemish and English).
Landmark's E Street Cinema

The Verdict
(Het vonnis)
Directed by Jan Verheyen
(Belgium, 2013, 112 min.)
A successful businessman with a loving family becomes consumed by revenge after a random street crime leads to the deaths of his wife and daughter.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., Dec. 17, 9 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 18, 5 p.m.

French

2 Autumns, 3 Winters
(2 automnes 3 hivers)
Directed by Sébastien Betbeder
(France, 2013, 93 min.)
A 33-year-old hipster half-gallantly, half-accidentally saves the beautiful Amélie from a pair of muggers, paving the way for love to bloom.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 20, 5:20 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 22, 7:40 p.m.

Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas
Directed by Arnaud des Pallières
(France/Germany, 2013, 120 min.)
In 16th-century France, an enterprising horse farmer runs afoul of a venal baron and raises an army to wage a war against the baron, who soon sues for peace.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 7, 3:45 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 10, 9:15 p.m.

Au bord du monde
Directed by Claus Drexel
(France, 2013, 97 min.)
Paris, at night — this is where homeless people come out from hiding, haunting the streets, bridges and corridors of the Metro in the hours just before dawn.
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Dec. 7, 2 p.m.

Braddock, America
Multiple directors
(France, 2013, 103 min.)
A team of French filmmakers visits a once-thriving steel town in Pennsylvania to chronicle the community's present day as well as its earlier life through a French lens.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 8, 4:30 p.m.

Bovines
Directed by Emmanuel Gras
(France, 2011, 62 min.)
By the end of "Bovines," the placid pastoral lives of the white Charolais cows of Normandy have made a deep impression.
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Dec. 7, 4 p.m.

The Chef
(Comme un Chef)
Directed by Daniel Cohen
(France/Spain, 2012, 84 min.)
A seasoned chef is the famous face of Paris staple, but the meddlesome son of his deceased business partner wants to modernize the chef's classic French cuisine, and cut costs and corners to turn a profit.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 15, 4:15 p.m.

Contempt
(Le mépris)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
(France/Italy, 1963, 102 min.)
A screenwriter is weighing an offer to jazz up "The Odyssey" for a Hollywood mogul and trying to fathom why his wife no longer likes him.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 22, 4:30 p.m.,
Sat., Dec. 28, 2:30 p.m.

Cycling with Molière
(Alceste à bicyclette)
Directed by Philippe Le Guay
(France, 2013, 101 min.)
Philippe Le Guay reunites with star Fabrice Luchini in this inspired comic riff on the acting profession, actorly egos and the genius of Molière.
AFI Silver Theatre
Dec. 6 to 11

Entrée du personnel
Directed by Manuela Frésil
(France, 2011, 59 min.)
Employees at an abattoir and meatpacking plant on the margins of a semi-industrial French city talk about working conditions, their daily lives, and why and how they got there in the first place.
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Dec. 14, 4:30 p.m.

A Lady in Paris
(Une Estonienne à Paris)
Directed by Ilmar Raag
(France/Estonia/Belgium, 2012, 94 min.)
A woman is charged with caring for a curmudgeonly Estonian ex-pat living in Paris who recently attempted suicide (French and Estonian).
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 7, 1:10 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 10, 7:10 p.m.

La Maison de la Radio
Directed by Nicolas Philibert
(France/Japan, 2013, 99 min.)
Celebrated documentarian Nicolas Philibert goes inside the world of French Public Radio, where, from pre-dawn to day's end, the radio crackles across a variety of channels.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 7, 6:15 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 8, 1:10 p.m.

My Best Holidays
Directed by Phillipe Lellouche
(France, 2012, 93 min.)
During a heat wave in 1976, Claude, who is Jewish and originally from Algeria, and his Brittany-born wife Isabelle spend their summer vacation with their two young sons, Isabelle's mother and two other couples. At first, the coexistence is not easy but, gradually, old resentments and prejudices are swept away to make room for friendship and rekindled romances.
Washington DCJCC
Tue., Dec. 24, 7:30 p.m.

Our Heroes Died Tonight
(Nos héros sont morts ce soir)
Directed by David Perrault
(France, 2013, 100 min.)
David Perrault's arty, black-and-white homage to the French crime thrillers of yesteryear is set in the mob-controlled world of Parisian professional wrestling in the early 1960s.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 13, 10:15 p.m.,
Sat., Dec. 14, 7:40 p.m.

The Past
(Le Passé)
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
(France/Italy, 2012, 130 min.)
Returning to Paris after four years away in Tehran to give his estranged wife a divorce so she can remarry, a man becomes reintegrated into this unconventional family structure as an honest broker, slowly unraveling a tangled web of grudges, secrets, half-truths and misunderstandings (French and Farsi).
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 8, 3:30 p.m.

The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears
(L'étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps)
Directed by Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
(Belgium/France/Luxembourg, 2013, 102 min.)
Dan returns home to Brussels after a business trip to discover his wife is missing and questions the neighbors, including an elderly woman whose own husband disappeared years ago (French, Danish and Flemish).
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 14, 10:15 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 19, 9:35 p.m.

Stranger by the Lake
(L'inconnu du lac)
Directed by Alain Guiraudie
(France, 2013, 100 min.)
Franck is a regular at a secluded lakeside beach, a popular hotspot for gay men to sunbathe and sneak off for casual sex in the nearby woods, where he witnesses a shocking crime and finds himself attracted to the perpetrator.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 20, 10 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 22, 9:45 p.m.

Tenderness
(La tendresse)
Directed by Marion Hänsel
(Belgium/France/Germany, 2013, 80 min.)
After their ski instructor son breaks his leg in the Alps, a Belgian divorced couple must share a car trip to France to bring him home in this heartwarming and beautifully observed drama.
AFI Silver Theatre
Dec. 12 to 15

Time of Thanksgiving
(Le Temps des graces)
Directed by Dominique Marchais
(France, 2010, 123 min.)
Dominique Marchais creates an unusually thoughtful and beautiful survey of farmers in France, revealing aspects of their practice through interviews and observation of a variety of sources.
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Dec. 14, 2 p.m.

German

The Flying Dutchman
(Der fliegende Holländer)
Directed by Joachim Herz
(E. Germany, 1964, 101 min.)
Based on Richard Wagner's opera, this became one of the first complete Wagner operas on film — and the only East German film ever made that includes elements of horror and vampire genres.
Goethe-Institut
Mon., Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m.

Ludwig
Directed by Luchino Visconti
(U.S., 1972, 235 min.)
This film about the life and death of King Ludwig II of Bavaria portrays the romantic king struggling between reality in Bavarian aristocracy and Wagnerian fantasy, as unrequited love and his homosexuality plunge him into madness (Italian, German and French).
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Dec. 21, 2 p.m.

Ludwig – Requiem for a Virgin King
(Ludwig – Requiem für einen jungfräulichen König)
Directed by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg
(W. Germany, 1972, 140 min.)
This imaginative interpretation of the life of Ludwig II of Bavaria stars Harry Baer as the so-called "mad king," who was the patron of Richard Wagner, the man who sold Bavaria to Prussia, and the builder of many a mythical castle in the Rhineland.
Goethe-Institut
Mon., Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m.

Ludwig II
(Ludwig II: Glanz und Ende eines Königs)
Directed by Helmut Käutner
(W. Germany, 1955, 115 min.)
King Ludwig II of Bavaria is frustrated, having to accept Parliament's will to join Bismarck in wars and not finding satisfaction in love, so he seeks comfort in art.
Goethe-Institut
Mon., Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.

The Strange Little Cat
(Das merkwürdige Kätzchen)
Directed by Ramon Zürcher
(Germany, 2013, 72 min.)
Ramon Zürcher's inventive debut film finds the surreal humor inherent in the mundane details of the family home, closely observing three generations of a Berlin family gathered in their cramped apartment before a family meal.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 14, 1 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 17, 7:20 p.m.

Soldier Jane
(Soldate Jeannette)
Directed by
(Austria, 2003, 80 min.)
Posh fortysomething Fanni takes a sports car for a test drive — on a one-way trip from Vienna to the Alps, where she finds work on an organic farm, alongside other dropouts from the rat race.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 8, 6:15 p.m.,
Mon., Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.

Two Lives
(Zwei Leben)
Directed by Georg Maas, Judith Kaufmann
(Germany/Norway, 2012, 97 min.)
A German-Norwegian lawyer builds a case against the Norwegian government for not allowing the children fathered by German troops to return to their Norwegian mothers after World War II (German, English, Norwegian, Russian and Danish).
AFI Silver Theatre
Dec. 15 to 18

Greek

Block 12
(Οικόpedο 12)
Directed by Kyriacos Tofarides
(Cyprus/Greece, 2013, 94 min.)
The discovery of a rich oil deposit beneath the home of a dysfunctional Cypriot family kicks off an international bidding war in this zany social satire.
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., Dec. 9, 9:15 p.m.,
Wed. Dec. 11, 9:45 p.m.

The Daughter
(I kori)
Directed by Thanos Anastopoulos
(Greece/Italy, 2012, 97 min.)
A 14-year-old girl is angry that her father, recently bankrupted by the Greek economic crisis, hasn't been seen in days, so she kidnaps the 8-year-old son of her father's business partner, whom she blames for their troubles.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 8, 7:40 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 12, 9:20 p.m.

The Enemy Within
(O ehthros mou)
Directed by Yorgos Tsemberopoulos
(Greece, 2013, 107 min.)
A husband and father with a successful garden supply store in the Athens suburbs is forced out of his comfort zone after a gang of hoodlums ransacks his house and tortures his family.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 14, 5:25 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 19, 7:20 p.m.

Hebrew

Israel: A Home Movie
Directed by Eliav Lilti
(Israel, 2012, 93 min.)
An impressive assemblage of home movies shot from the 1930s through the 1970s are strung together to form a mesmerizing history that documents a living memory of Palestine and Israel's formation.
Washington DCJCC
Tue., Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Hungarian

The Exam
(A vizsga)
Directed by Péter Bergendy
(Hungary, 2012, 92 min.)
In 1956 Budapest, following the failed revolution, Soviet domination of Hungary's secret police creates an unprecedented level of institutional paranoia, with the spies spying not only on the citizenry, but on each other.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 15, 9:30 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 17, 9:20 p.m.

Italian

Dormant Beauty
(Bella addormentata)
Directed by Marco Bellocchio
(Italy/France, 2012, 115 min.)
Italy's real-life Eluana Englaro case, where a young woman injured in a car accident lived in a vegetative state for 17 years while her father fought to have the plug pulled, is the backdrop for this thought-provoking drama.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 8, 1 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 11, 7:25 p.m.

The Great Beauty
(La Grande Bellezza)
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
(Italy, 2013, 142 min.)
Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Me and You
(Io e te)
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
(Italy, 2012, 103 min.)
The unexpected arrival of his older junkie half-sister spoils a disaffected Roman teen's plans for solitude, but offers the opportunity for two needy souls to connect.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 6, 9:30 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 11, 7:10 p.m.

Pretty Butterflies
(Bellas mariposas)
Directed by Salvatore Mereu
(Italy, 2012, 100 min.)
A precocious, perceptive young Sardinian teen imagines she's the star of her own reality show, narrating scenes and confiding to the camera about the chaotic life of her family.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 15, 5:40 p.m.,
Mon., Dec. 16, 7:15 p.m.

Salvo
Directed by Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza
(Italy/France, 2013, 104 min.)
A Palermo hitman has a change of heart after he lays eyes on his target's blind sister.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., Dec. 19, 9:45 p.m.,
Sat., Dec. 21, 10 p.m.

Kannada

The Ritual
Directed by Girish Kasaravalli
(India, 1977, 110 min.)
In this dark tale about life in the highest Hindu caste, a child widow becomes pregnant by a local schoolteacher and is condemned by a social system that also accepts the remarriage of her elderly father with a girl young enough to be his daughter.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 15, 2 p.m.

Latvian

Mother, I Love You
(Mammu, es Tevi milu)
Directed by Janis Nords
(Latvia, 2013, 83 min.)
His doctor mother works long hours, so a Riga kid has free rein to ride his scooter around the city and get into mischief with his pal, but what begins as childish tomfoolery spirals into a hard lesson about the complexities of the adult world.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 21, 11:05 a.m.,
Sun., Dec. 22, 5:45 p.m.

Lithuanian

Vanishing Waves
(Aurora)
Directed by Kristina Buožyte
(Lithuania/France/Belgium, 2012, 120 min.)
A research scientist volunteers for a sensory deprivation experiment, hoping to tap into the consciousness of and communicate with a young comatose woman.
AFI Silver Theatre
Tue., Dec. 10, 9:15 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 12, 9:15 p.m.

Luxembourgish

Blind Spot
(Angle Mort aka Doudege wénkel)
Directed by Christophe Wagner
(Luxembourg/Belgium, 2012, 96 min.)
Inspector Hastert is a seasoned Luxembourg City cop on the cusp of retiring. But when a fellow officer is murdered in cold blood, he takes on one last case (Luxembourgish, English and French).
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 8, 9:40 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 10, 7:15 p.m.

Malayalam

Shadow Kill
Directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(India, 2002, 91 min.)
In 1941, just as Gandhi's freedom movement is taking shape, an aging hangman haunted by the many men he's executed prays to the Goddess Kali to remove his sins, and drinks to soothe his troubled conscience.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Dec. 13, 7 p.m.

Polish

Baby Blues
(Bejbi blues)
Directed by Katarzyna Roslaniec
(Poland, 2012, 100 min.)
A 17-year-old mother is a wannabe fashionista who treats her 7-month-old son like an adorable accessory, when she can be bothered to give the infant attention at all.
AFI Silver Theatre
Dec. 16 to 19

Manhunt
(Oblawa)
Directed by Marcin Krzysztalowicz
(Poland/Serbia and Montenegro, 2012, 96 min.)
In a forest in occupied 1943 Poland, a highly skilled resistance fighter routinely takes on his squadron's most dangerous assignments, dispatching rough justice to the Nazi collaborators, but he has a mysterious history with his latest target.
AFI Silver Theatre
Wed., Dec. 18, 7:20 p.m.,
Sat., Dec. 21, 1 p.m.

Walesa. Man of Hope
Directed by Andrzej Wajda
(Poland, 2013, 128 min.)
Andrzej Wajda brings the story of Lech Walesa and the Solidarity movement to the big screen with a plot that hinges on Walesa's landmark 1981 interview, just months before Poland declared martial law, with Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, recounting in flashback the previous decade and a half of activism.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., Dec. 5, 7:15 p.m.,
Sat., Dec. 7, 1 p.m.

Portuguese

A Woman's Revenge
(A Vingança de Uma Mulher)
Directed by Rita Azevedo Gomes
(Portugal, 2012, 100 min.)
A rich and handsome libertine, disdainful of convention, meets an exceptionally beautiful prostitute, one whose manner and bearing mark her as a lady of refinement.
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., Dec. 9, 9:40 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 11, 9:10 p.m.

Romanian

Child's Pose
(Pozitia copilului)
Directed by Calin Peter Netzer
(Romania, 2013, 112 min.)
Detained at the local police station after being involved in a fatal traffic accident, intoxicated thirtysomething Barbu (gets bailed out by his formidable mother, who over the coming days continues to bully, cajole and wheedle all those involved in deciding her son's fate.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.

Slovak

My Dog Killer
(Môj pes Killer)
Directed by Mira Fornay
(Slovakia/Czech Republic, 2013, 90 min.)
Living on a struggling vineyard on the Slovak-Czech border, an 18-year-old skinhead is surprised to discover that he has a young gypsy half-brother.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat,. Dec. 14, 11:05 a.m.,
Mon., Dec. 16, 9:10 p.m.

Slovenian

Dual
(Dvojina)
Directed by Nejc Gazvoda
(Slovenia/Croatia/Denmark, 2013, 102 min.)
A free spirited Dane, stopping through Slovenia on the way to a holiday in Greece, crosses paths with the straitlaced bus driver who picks her up at the airport.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 14, 11 a.m.,
Mon., Dec. 16, 9:45 p.m.

Spanish

Chrysalis
(De tu ventana a la mía)
Directed by Paula Ortiz
(Spain, 2011, 95 min.)
First-time director Paula Ortiz creates a chronicle of three generations of Spanish women, each trying to control her own destiny against the background of a rapidly changing Spain.
GALA Hispanic Theatre
Fri., Dec. 13, 7 p.m.

Lost in Time
(Perdida)
Directed by Viviana García Besné
(Mexico, 2010, 93 min.)
This film traces the unbelievable true story of the Calderón family, which built grand movie palaces in Mexico and the U.S. and employed thousands to produce incomparable, hugely successful, often reprehensible populist-genre films utterly and uniquely Mexican.
GALA Hispanic Theatre
Sat., Dec. 14, 7 p.m.

María Candelaria
Directed by Emilio Fernández
(Mexico, 1944, 102 min.)
This poignant story of a young girl who is mercilessly persecuted by her townspeople introduced Mexican cinema to Europe in the 1940s.
GALA Hispanic Theatre
Sat., Dec. 14, 2 p.m.

Nora's Will
(Cinco Días Sin Nora)
Directed by Mariana Chenillo
(Mexico, 2010, 90 min.)
When his ex-wife Nora dies right before Passover, José is forced to stay with her body until she can be properly put to rest. He soon realizes he is part of Nora's plan to bring her family back together for one last Passover feast.
GALA Hispanic Theatre
Sat., Dec. 14, 9 p.m.

She Doesn't Want to Sleep Alone
(No Quiero Dormir Sola)
Directed by Natalia Beristain
(Mexico, 2012, 82 min.)
Amanda's dull life is suddenly interrupted when she is forced to take care of her alcoholic grandmother, a retired actress who lives on her past glories.
GALA Hispanic Theatre
Wed., Dec. 11, 7 p.m.

The Wishful Thinkers
(Los ilusos)
Directed by Jonás Trueba
(Spain, 2013, 93 min.)
Waiting for the green light on his next project, a young filmmaker is in a state of limbo.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 7, 5:15 p.m.,
Mon., Dec. 9, 9:10 p.m.

Swedish

The Disciple
(Lärjungen)
Directed by Ulrika Bengts
(Finland, 2013, 93 min.)
In 1939, 13-year-old Karl is an eager-to-please orphan, sent by the state to work at an isolated Baltic island lighthouse, where the lighthouse master cruelly begins to favor the hard-working new boy over his own son.
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., Dec. 9, 7:10 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 10, 5:20 p.m.

The Hidden Child
(Tyskungen)
Directed by Per Hanefjord
(Sweden, 2013, 105 min.)
After the tragic death of her parents, a crime novelist moves back to her childhood home in a sleepy seaside village, where a stranger shows up at her doorstep, claiming to be her long-lost brother.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 13, 8:05 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 15, 6:15 p.m.

We Are the Best
(Vi är bäst!)
Directed by Lukas Moodysson
(Sweden/Denmark, 2013, 102 min.)
In 1982 Stockholm, 13-year-old best friends are united by their feelings of outsiderness—embarrassed by their parents, repulsed by the conformity of the school's popular kids and hating gym class.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 14, 5:40 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 15, 1 p.m.

   

Events - December 2013

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EVENT CATEGORIES

Art

Dance

Discussions

Galas

Music

Theater


ART

Dec. 2 to 13
Moods – Young Austrian Photography
The works of the six Austrian artists selected for this exhibition examine the perception and manipulation of our daily surroundings, providing a cross section of young, enterprising artists shaping the country's contemporary photography scene.
Embassy of Austria

Tue., Dec. 3, 6 p.m.
A 'Munch' Christmas Tree
Will it be a "scream" Christmas tree? We don't know, but the famous Norwegian artist Edward Munch is set to play a key role at the annual Norwegian Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Union Station this year to mark the 150th anniversary of Munch.
Union Station

Dec. 3 to 17
Seeing With Spiral Eyes: An Artist's Journey through South and Central America
Photos and abstract paintings inspired by the artist Madeline Lynch's recent travels through Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico re-imagine organic forms and iconic symbols — pulled from ancient myths, religions and folklore — to evoke a meditative state infused with the healing energy of bright colors and recurring designs.
El Mueso Fondo del Sol

Through Dec. 8
Different Distances: Fashion Photography Goes Art
Five artists — whose images are a game of balance between art and fashion photography, rooted in cultural history as well as personal experiences — overcome the difference between the intimate and the distant to create atmospheres that bewitch us.
House of Sweden

Through Dec. 8
The Third Room
Children enter a playroom that serves as a set on which they will be the leading characters in a theater piece of their own interpretation. Through headphones, they are instructed to find things in the room, to quiet a talking suitcase, and to fly through space. Exactly how they do this is completely up to them.
House of Sweden

Through Dec. 8
United Stockholms of America
Using figures and facts, design and photography by Charlie Bennet, "United Stockholms of America" tells the story of the migration of 1.3 million Swedes who left their home for a better future in the Promised Land.
House of Sweden

Dec. 14 to May 4
In Focus: Ara Güler's Anatolia
Ara Güler, the "Eye of Istanbul," is famous for his iconic snapshots of the city in the 1950s and '60s, but with an archive of more than 800,000 photographs, Güler's body of work contains far more than these emblematic images — as seen in this exhibition of never-before-shown works by the legendary photographer.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Dec. 20
Camus in a Digital Age
Scannable QR codes create a virtual bridge between physical media and digital content, connecting gallery displays with online videos, photographs, newspaper and audio archives that explore the life of Albert Camus, a French Nobel Prize-winning author, journalist and philosopher. The exhibit is part of "Celebrating 100 Years of Albert Camus," a series of events that includes author talks, a panel discussion and mixed-media performance; for information, visit www.francedc.org.
Alliance Française of Washington, D.C.

Through Dec. 20
Fabriano 1264: 750 Years of Western Papermaking
The first 750 years of the city of Fabriano's tradition of papermaking will be celebrated in D.C. as part of "2013: The Year of Italian Culture in the United States." Papermaking is a still flourishing tradition that began in the 13th century and has made this historic town in the Marche region known throughout the world as the City of Paper. Viewings are by appointment; for information, visit www.iicwashington.esteri.it.
Italian Cultural Institute

Dec. 20 to April 27
Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts
Over time, quilts have been revered as nostalgic emblems of the past, dismissed as women's work, and hailed as examples of American ingenuity. This exhibition breaks new ground by examining quilts through the lens of contemporary feminist theory.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Dec. 31
S.O.S. Spanish Office Showroom
As part of the SPAIN arts & culture program (www.spainculture.us), "S.O.S. Spanish Office Showroom" presents the most avant-garde pieces of Spanish design conceived for modern working environments, highlighting how the creativity of contemporary Spanish designers adapts to any office space and how Spanish design companies are successfully competing in international markets, such as the United States.
Former Spanish Residence

Through Jan. 5
Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris
The first retrospective exhibition in the United States, and the only scholarly catalogue on the renowned 19th-century French photographer Charles Marville (1813-79), presents recent groundbreaking discoveries informing his art and biography, including the versatility of his photographic talents and his true identity, background and family life.
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 5
A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
More than 100 photographs selected from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's permanent collection celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the museum's photography collection, examine photography's evolution in the United States from a documentary medium to a full-fledged artistic genre, and showcase the numerous ways in which it has captured the American experience.
American Art Museum

Through Jan. 5
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa
Some 100 exceptional works of art from the late 18th to 21st centuries come together for the first major exhibition and scholarly endeavor to comprehensively examine the rich relationship between African artists and the land upon which they live, work and frame their days.
National Museum of African Art

Through Jan. 5
Northern Mannerist Prints from the Kainen Collection
Some 50 works embody the sophisticated imagery, extraordinary stylization and virtuoso technique of the printmaking industry that flourished in the northern Netherlands and at the imperial court of Prague in the late 16th century.
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 5
Wanderer: Travel Prints by Ellen Day Hale
A selection of prints, drawings and original printing plates demonstrates Ellen Day Hale 's passion for travel and her mastery of printmaking.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Jan. 5
Yes, No, Maybe: Artists Working at Crown Point Press
Featuring 125 working proofs and edition prints produced between 1972 and 2010 at Crown Point Press in San Francisco, one of the most influential printmaking studios of the last half century, "Yes, No, Maybe" goes beyond celebrating the flash of inspiration to examine the artistic process as a sequence of decisions.
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 12
Living Artfully: At Home with Marjorie Merriweather Post
From the glamour of Palm Beach, to the rustic whimsy of the Adirondacks, to the distinguished social scene of Washington, D.C., heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post brought to her multiple residences a flawless style of living and entertaining that was made possible only through the gracious management of loyal staff.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Through Jan. 12
Pakistani Voices: A Conversation with The Migration Series
In April 2013, the Phillips partnered with the State Department to conduct a series of workshops in Pakistan focusing on art and social change. This exhibition features 29 works by emerging Pakistani artists and 20 works by students and orphans who worked together to create visual narratives about identity, personal struggle and Pakistani history.
The Phillips Collection

Through Jan. 24
GOLS for Development
This digital and photographic exhibit narrates the impact of sport as a vehicle for social transparency, taking as an example the life of Pelé, the king of soccer, in parallel with several sports development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center

Through Jan. 25
A Night at the Opera
The grandeur of opera — its unforgettable music, stellar performers, and lavish scenery and costumes — has transfixed audiences for more than 400 years. This 50-item display will feature manuscripts, printed scores, librettos, photographs, correspondence and set designs dating from the late 18th century through the beginning of the 20th century.
Library of Congress James Madison Building

Through Jan. 26
Van Gogh Repetitions
In the first Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) exhibition in D.C. in 15 years, the Phillips Collection takes a fresh look at the van Gogh's artistic process, venturing beneath the surface of some of his best-known paintings to examine how and why he repeated certain compositions during his 10-year career.
The Phillips Collection

Through Jan. 26
Yoga: The Art of Transformation
Through masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting, "Yoga" — the first exhibit to present this leitmotif of Indian visual culture — explores yoga's goals; its Hindu as well as Buddhist, Jain and Sufi manifestations; its means of transforming body and consciousness; and its profound philosophical foundations.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Jan. 31
Icons of the Desert
This exhibition of early indigenous Australian paintings from Papunya, from the private collection of John and Barbara Wilkerson, took more than 10 years of development in close consultation with the aboriginal community and descendants of the artists.
Embassy of Australia Art Gallery

Through Jan. 31
Portraits of Power: Works by Alejandro Almaraz of Argentina
Since 2006, the Organization of American States's Art Museum of the Americas has aimed to promote OAS values of social progress and cultural exchange through the visual arts. Continuing along this path, Alejandro Almaraz's examinations of popular authority figures encourage conversation on vital OAS interests such as democracy and good governance.
Art Museum of the Americas

Through Jan. 31
Linger On! (Verweile doch)
Capturing fleeting moments in time, these diverse works by six artists present extraordinary encounters with contemporary art, ranging from documentary photography that enhances reality via the deft use of framing and lighting to precisely staged productions.
Goethe-Institut

Through Jan. 31
Portraits of Power: Works by Alejandro Almaraz of Argentina
Since 2006, the Organization of American States's Art Museum of the Americas has aimed to promote OAS values of social progress and cultural exchange through the visual arts. Continuing along this path, Alejandro Almaraz's examinations of popular authority figures encourage conversation on vital OAS interests such as democracy and good governance.
Art Museum of the Americas

Through Feb. 9
Lines, Marks, and Drawings: Through the Lens of Roger Ballen
This exhibit considers the 40-year-plus career of Roger Ballen, one of the more recognized photographic artists working today, through a new approach: an examination of line and drawing in his photographs.
National Museum of African Art

Through Feb. 14
Illuminating Opportunity: A Photography Exhibit for Social Good
This photography exhibit by Trees, Water and People explores the organization's solar energy program in Honduras through the eyes of photographer Darren Mahuron. Viewings are by appointment only; for information, call (202) 370-4618 or (202) 370-0151.
Organization of American States

Through March 2
Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections
In the first exhibition devoted to Byzantine art at the National Gallery, some 170 rare and important works, drawn exclusively from Greek collections, offer a fascinating glimpse of the soul and splendor of the mysterious Byzantine Empire.
National Gallery of Art

Through March 2
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art
Nearly 100 works in all media by 72 leading modern and contemporary artists present the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-20th century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge.
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Through March 9
Alex Prager: Face in the Crowd
Los Angeles artist Alex Prager's first solo museum exhibition in the United States debuts her latest series — elaborately staged crowd scenes, both poignant and revelatory — alongside earlier photographs and video works.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through March 15
Man at the Crossroads: Diego Rivera's Mural at Rockefeller Center
This exposition centers around the mural that Mexican artist Diego Rivera painted in New York City, reconstructing its history with unedited material, including reproduced letters, telegrams, contracts, sketches, and documents, following Rivera's commission, subsequent tension and conflict, and finally, the mural's destruction.
Mexican Cultural Institute

Through May 26
Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950
The first in-depth exploration of the theme of destruction in international contemporary visual culture, this groundbreaking exhibition includes works by a diverse range of international artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, film, installation and performance.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through June 8, 2014
Perspectives: Rina Banerjee
Born in India and based in New York City, artist Rina Banerjee draws on her background as a scientist and her experience as an immigrant in her richly textured works that complicate the role of objects as representations of cultures and invite viewers to share her fascination in materials.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through July 13
Dancing the Dream
From the late 19th century to today, dance has captured this nation's culture in motion, as seen in photos that showcase generations of performers, choreographers and impresarios.
National Portrait Gallery

Through Aug. 24
Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon
"Africa ReViewed" showcases the African photography of celebrated Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon and explores the intricate relationships between his photographic archives and art collection at the National Museum of African Art. Elisofon's images had a huge impact in framing America's perceptions of Africa and its diverse cultures during the 20th century.
National Museum of African Art

DANCE

Dec. 5 and 6
Ballet Hispanico
Ballet Hispanico returns to the Kennedy Center with a dazzling mixed repertory program to include the D.C. premiere of "Sortijas" by Cayetano Soto, one of the most dynamic and groundbreaking Spanish choreographers of his generation. Tickets are $22 to $60.
Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

Dec. 5 to 29
The Nutcracker
The Washington Ballet's "The Nutcracker" transports you back in time to historic D.C. with George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker, accompanied by glorious music, swirling snowflakes, and magnificent sets and costumes. Tickets are $32 to $112. (Immediately after the Dec. 15 matinee performance, the Washington Ballet (TWB) hosts the 34th annual Nutcracker Tea Party at the Willard InterContinental Hotel. For information, visit www.washingtonballet.org.)
Warner Theatre

DISCUSSIONS

Thu., Dec. 13, 5-7 p.m.
LADO Open House
The LADO International Institute holds an open house at its D.C. location for prospective students and teachers to learn more about its English language classes. For information, visit www.lado.edu/english/.
LADO DC Center

GALAS

Mon., Dec. 16, 7 p.m.
Choral Arts 33rd Annual Holiday Concert and Gala
The Choral Arts Society of Washington's 33rd annual Holiday Concert and Gala begins with the show "An Enchanted Christmas," followed by a black-tie reception, dinner and dancing on the Roof Terrace, with Italian Ambassador and Mrs. Claudio Bisogniero serving as honorary patrons in honor of "2013: The Year of Italian Culture in the United States." For ticket information, visit www.choralarts.org.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

MUSIC

Mon., Dec. 2, 8 p.m.
Kazakhstan Gala Concert
Società Italiana della Musica da Camera (the Italian Society for Chamber Music) presents the Eurasian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Aidar Torebaev and with guest violinist Aiman Mussakhajayeva, in a gala concert for Kazakhstan. Tickets are $20 to $50.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Dec. 5 to 7
Holiday Songfest Inc.: Irving Berlin Hits
Gorgeous choral music and carols with the Thomas Circle Singers starts at 7:15 p.m., followed by wonderful singers, including Broadway star Klea Blackhurst, in this all Irving Berlin repertoire. During the concert, champagne and hors d'oeuvres are served, followed by a buffet prepared by the embassy chef. Tickets are $140 (Dec. 5) or $150 (Dec. 6 and 7); for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Embassy of Luxembourg

Fri., Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
Christmas in Ireland: An Nollaig in Éirinn
Hailing from County Waterford, Danú performs traditional Irish music of the season in a very special holiday treat for young and old alike. Tickets are $34 to $50.
George Mason University Hylton Performing Arts Center

Dec. 7 to 15
The 31st Annual Christmas Revels
The Washington Revels' celebration of the Winter Solstice harkens back to ancient Thrace, with music, dance and drama from Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, including a swirl of beautiful costumes, haunting Slavonic harmonies, and fiery instrumentals and folk dances. Tickets are $18 to $50.
GW Lisner Auditorium

Tue., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Ismäel Margain – Eunic Concert Series
An award-winning French pianist since the age of 7, Ismaël Margain, now 21, brings a vibrancy and enthusiasm to a repertoire that features pieces from Mozart, Ravel, Rachmaninov and his personal favorite, Schubert. Tickets are $15; for information, visit www.acfdc.org.
Embassy of Austria

Wed., Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Duo Drechsler & Martin Tiefenbacher
Duo Ulrich Drechsler & Martin Tiefenbacher perform their album "Beyond Words," featuring intimate instrumentation that consists of bass clarinet, piano and drums. Admission is free but tickets are required; for information, visit www.acfdc.org.
Embassy of Austria

Thu., Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m.
miXt
Formed in 2011, miXt is a versatile, dynamic chamber group comprised of award-winning soloists from the Young Concert Artists roster who perform in a variety of configurations. Tickets are $160, including buffet dinner and wine; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Spanish Residence

Fri., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Christmas in Vienna
Burnett Thompson, the great American composer and pianist, presents his work "Christmas in Vienna" to ring in the holiday season. Admission is free but tickets are required; for information, visit www.acfdc.org.
Embassy of Austria

Fri., Dec. 13, 8 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 15, 4 p.m.
Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna
The spirit of the Christmas season comes to life when the angelic voices the Vienna Boys Choir performs a program of classical and popular music that includes traditional Christmas carols, Gregorian chants, songs from around the world and popular holiday favorites. Tickets are $25 to $50.
George Mason University Center for the Arts (Dec. 13)
Hylton Performing Arts Center (Dec. 15)

Dec. 13 to 22
Christmas in New Spain: Early Music of Mexico and Peru
The Folger Consort presents exuberant music by 16th- and 17th-century Latin American and Spanish composers for the Christmas season and lively rhythms of early baroque dances. Tickets are $50.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Sun., Dec. 15, 4 p.m.
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano: Fiesta Navidad
This Grammy Award-winning Mexican mariachi ensemble offers a lively concert featuring traditional Mexican and American carols such as "Feliz Navidad," "Jingle Bells" and much more. Tickets are $25 to $50.
George Mason University Center for the Arts

Dec. 15 to 22
The Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas
Celebrate the splendor of the season with the Washington Chorus's beloved holiday event and an annual favorite with Kennedy Center audiences. Tickets are $15 to $70.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Dec. 16 to 24
The Choral Arts Society of Washington: An Enchanted Christmas
This year, Choral Arts collaborates with the Italian Embassy to promise a concert mixed with Yuletide classics, Italian carols, and the always popular sing-along. Tickets are $15 to $75.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Dec. 19 to 22
National Symphony Orchestra: Handel's Messiah
Get in the holiday spirit with Handel's epic masterpiece, performed each year with a fresh perspective by the National Symphony Orchestra and acclaimed guest artists. Tickets are $10 to $85.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Sat., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.
Eileen Ivers: An Irish Christmas – An Nollaig
Irish-American fiddler Eileen Ivers, backed by her band Immigrant Soul, is a nine-time All-Ireland fiddle champion who is known for her high-energy performances that mix traditional and original music, spirited step-dancing and dramatic storytelling. Tickets are $25 to $50.
George Mason University Center for the Arts

THEATER

Through Dec. 1
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare's timeless story of young, passionate love set against a sea of hate is retold by three-time Helen Hayes Award-winning director Aaron Posner. Tickets are $40 to $72.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Dec. 5 to 22
Man in a Case
Interweaving video, music and dance, this production is adapted from two short stories of humor and despair by Anton Chekhov and features celebrated performer Mikhail Baryshnikov and veteran members of Big Dance Theater. Tickets are $45 to $105.
The Shakespeare Lansburgh Theatre

Fri., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.
Anticodes
This multimedia dance theater production is based on Václav Havel's collection of experimental poetry of the same name and uses projection and sound to turn the stage into a real-time visual and aural reflection of the dancers' movements. Admission is free but tickets are required; a pre-show discussion about Havel and Czech theater starts at 7:30 p.m.
Georgetown University David Performing Arts Center

Through Dec. 8
Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill
The Falls of Autrey Mill is the most desired zipcode in town. From the outside, the flawless neighborhood glitters with elegant roman column porches and exquisitely manicured lawns. However, demons lurk behind the designer window treatments when one seemingly perfect family disintegrates from the inside out. Please call for ticket information.
Signature Theatre

Dec. 11 to Jan. 5
Edgar & Annabel
From one of Britain's most promising young playwrights, this dark and cheeky look at what the future might hold features undercover agents, surveillance algorithms, and explosive karaoke. Tickets are $30 to $35.
Studio Theatre

Dec. 14 to 22
The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me
Most everyone knows the story of the Nativity, but probably not from the donkey's point of view! Washington National Opera Artistic Director Francesca Zambello brings this award-winning children's book to vibrant life in this heartwarming, world premiere holiday family opera. Tickets are $39 to $59.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Through Dec. 15
Protest
In this play written in 1978 by famed Czech human rights activist Vaclav Havel, we meet a dissident on his way home from prison and a person involved in a campaign to protest the government. One character is the protesting artist who suffered for his beliefs, the other a compromising and compromised playwright. But in this unique interpretation by Ambassador Theater, the two male characters have counter female egos, emphasizing their universality. Tickets are $20 to $40; for information, visit www.aticc.org (for mature audiences).
Mead Theater Lab at Flashpoint

Dec. 17 to Jan. 5
Elf the Musical
Buddy the orphan leaves the North Pole to find his true identity in this modern Christmas classic that will make everyone embrace their inner elf. Tickets are $25 to $150.
Kennedy Center Opera House

Through Dec. 29
The Apple Family Plays
"That Hopey Changey Thing" and "Sweet and Sad" will play in rotating repertory under the banner "The Apple Family Plays," which follow a family's story over two tumultuous years in America's history. Tickets are $39 to $85.
Studio Theatre

Through Jan. 5
A Christmas Carol
Ford's Theatre has delighted Washington audiences with "A Christmas Carol" for more than 30 years. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Please call for ticket information.
Ford's Theatre

Through Jan. 5
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
This fun musical farce based on the classic plays of ancient Roman playwright Plautus tells the bawdy story of Pseudolus, a slave in ancient Rome, who goes to great lengths to gain his freedom by securing a courtesan for his young master, Hero. Tickets are $20 to $110.
Shakespeare Theatre Sidney Harman Hall

Through Jan. 5
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Broadway and Arena Stage favorite Kenny Leon returns to direct Malcolm-Jamal Warner (in his Arena Stage debut) in a new adaptation of the beloved film "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Please call for ticket information.
Arena Stage

   

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