April 2014

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Cover Story

Former Military Man Becomes
Myanmar's Reluctant Ambassador

a5.cover.myanmar.htut.homeKyaw Myo Htut makes no secret of it: He's far more comfortable in a uniform than in a suit and tie. But the former military man is now Myanmar's man in Washington, helping his once-isolated nation press ahead with its historic opening to the West. Read More 

People of World Influence

China Expert Says U.S. Needs
To Step Up Its Pivot in Asia

a1.powi.navy.economy.homeAs President Obama embarks on his long-planned (and twice-canceled) trip to Asia this month, Elizabeth Economy of the Council on Foreign Relations tells us what the visit means for America's much-hyped Asia pivot. Read More


International Relations

Crimea: Failure of Diplomacy
Becomes Russian Fait Accompli

a2.crimea.protest.crowd.homeWhile Russia and the West deny competing for influence on a post-Cold War geopolitical chessboard, Ukraine certainly resembles a pawn in a zero-sum game where each side is pulling the country apart. Read More


International Affairs

Twenty Years After Its Genocide,
Rwanda Issues Plea: Never Again

a3.rwanda.genocide.victims.homeThis month, Rwanda marks 20 years since one of the 20th century's most horrific genocides with a vow that history must not repeat itself. Read More


Death Penalty Divide

EU Withholds Lethal Drugs
To Protest U.S. Death Penalty

a4.eu.death.penalty.execution.homeAmericans and Europeans share common bonds, but our values are not the same, and no issue better illustrates the continental divide than the death penalty. Read More


The Rotunda: Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill

Debate Over Net Neutrality
Plays Out Across Atlantic

a6.net.neutrality.homeA flurry of developments in the longstanding legal battle between Internet providers and content creators has thrust consumers on both sides of the Atlantic into the highly technical and once obscure issue of net neutrality. Read More


Book Excerpt

The Second Arab Awakening
And the Battle for Pluralism

a7.book.muasher.arab.homeFormer Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher says the uprisings that breathed new life into the Arab world in 2011 were inevitable, but achieving the protesters' goals is not. Read More


Book Review

Dulles Brothers: Puppet Masters
Of America's 'Secret World War?'

a8.book.review.dulles.homeAuthor Stephen Kinzer argues that the Dulles brothers, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and CIA Director Allen Dulles, waged a secret global war against communism that continues to fuel conflicts around the world today. Read More

Medial

The Age of Men: Research Shows
Father's Biological Clock Matters

a9.medical.male.fertility.homeWomen are used to hearing about their biological clocks, but new research is showing that a father's age can also have an impact on a child's future health. Read More

 

   

China Expert Says U.S. Needs To Step Up Its Pivot in Asia

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By Michael Coleman

As President Obama embarks on his long-planned — and twice-canceled — trip to Asia this month, Washington speculation is centered on just what his administration’s highly touted “pivot” from the Middle East to Asia will actually mean.

Plenty of U.S.-based foreign policy experts are weighing in, but few speak with as much authority as Elizabeth Economy, the director for Asia studies and C.V. Starr senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. In op-eds, news columns, blogs, books and numerous interviews, Economy consistently lends clarity to discussions of the complex, rapidly changing region.

An expert on China, Economy is the author ofThe River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenges to China’s Future” and co-author of “By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World,” in which she and Michael Levi explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy and the global effects of its meteoric rise.

a1.powi.economy.story
Photo: Council on Foreign Relations
Elizabeth Economy

The top priority for the president’s trip should be fostering a more cooperative relationship between Japan and South Korea, perhaps by boosting a sense of trilateralism on critical issues such as North Korea, regional environmental concerns and the Trans-Pacific Partnership [trade deal],” Economy told us. “A close second is ensuring that the United States is on the same page with the Philippines, Japan and even Malaysia on addressing China’s expanding interests and presence in the South and East China Seas.”

While China is not one of the stops on Obama’s itinerary, it is sure to be high on the agenda. China’s territorial ambitions and growing military might have aroused suspicion among many of its smaller neighbors, giving the United States a window to reassert itself as a Pacific power. On that note, experts say the Asian pivot is as much about improving relations with the area’s fast-growing economies as it is an attempt to counter Chinese hegemony in the region.

China’s various maritime disputes are certain to loom large during Obama’s visit. China and Japan both claim control over a rocky outcropping of islands called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. Meanwhile, in the South China Sea, home to rich fishing, oil and mineral resources, China has competing claims of sovereignty with Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. Sporadic clashes have erupted over the years, and China recently declared a controversial air defense identification zone in the East China Sea demanding that commercial planes identify themselves to Chinese air traffic control.

China’s territorial claims snake deep into waters that extend past its continental shelf, and for the first time this past February, U.S. officials said that the so-called “nine-dash line” China uses to demarcate its rights over the South China Sea breaches international law because the territorial boundaries are not based on land features.

However, Washington insists it’s not taking sides on the sovereignty disputes and wants them settled peacefully in a multilateral setting, preferably by establishing a code of conduct. But Beijing would rather tackle them one by one, presumably to wield more clout in bilateral negotiations.

China also says the conflicts aren’t any of Washington’s business. The United States counters that retaining unfettered rights to navigate the South China Sea, one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, is in its national interest.

“When necessary we need to push back,” Economy said of the maritime disputes. “If we don’t and we give China an inch they will definitely take a mile. That’s one of the things we need to be concerned about. At some point in time if China keeps pushing and pushing, if nobody pushes back, de facto they’ve asserted sovereignty. That’s a real challenge.

“We can’t allow that kind of incremental advancement in terms of their controlling the territory in the South China Sea,” Economy added. “We really have to be on alert for this incremental change they’re making or we’ll wake up one day and find out that they’ve basically managed to assert sovereignty over the entire nine-dash line.”

Economy’s warnings about the danger of complacency is a theme in her new book “By All Means Necessary,” which details how China has gobbled up raw materials around the world to feed its explosive economic growth. At the same time, she and Levi debunk theories that the resource race will invariably lead to conflict, social problems and environmental destruction, arguing that policymakers need to take a more nuanced view of China’s complex internal dynamics.

“Understanding Chinese behavior abroad requires understanding Chinese behavior at home,” the authors write. Economy points out that President Xi Jinping has been working to consolidate his political power, in part by cracking down on corruption, stifling dissent and courting neighbors with lucrative business deals.

Beijing’s economic courtship stands in stark contrast to its bellicose defense posturing. But Economy said she understands why China has been flexing its muscles in the region.

“There are a number of factors that play into China’s more assertive stance pushing out on its maritime claims,” she said. “It’s partly having to do with resources, partly having to do with nationalism and partly having to do with security — real security concerns.”

For one thing, Beijing worries that Obama’s Asian pivot is simply a thinly veiled military campaign to contain China’s influence.

“I see it largely as a means of China asserting its claims of what it believes is sovereign territory but … it’s never been comfortable relying on the U.S. for its sea lane security,” Economy explained. “As China continues to develop its naval capacity and its other military capacity, it will continue to push out. The key at this point is for both the United States and the region, when necessary, to push back but also really push forward on trying to develop some of the rules of the road here.”

a1.powi.navy.economy.story
Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate
The guided missile destroyers USS Kidd, USS Pinckney and USS Dewey sail behind the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the South China Sea, through which half the world's commercial shipping passes.

Getting other countries to cooperate with that strategy is another matter entirely. Near the top of Obama’s agenda are back-to-back meetings with the leaders of Japan and South Korea, key U.S. allies that are increasingly antagonistic toward each other.

Already rocky relations have deteriorated even more since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in December 2012. The two countries have butted heads over their own territorial dispute, and long-simmering hostilities heated up a notch after Abe visited a war shrine in Tokyo that is viewed by many Asian nations as an offensive symbol of Japan’s militaristic past. (Japan occupied South Korea for 35 years.)

Abe’s administration further exacerbated tensions by vowing to review evidence that led to Japan’s landmark 1993 apology to women, many of them Koreans, who were forced to work as sex slaves during World War II. Abe’s administration has since backed away from the move but said it will continue to examine the highly sensitive issue.

The widening rift is unsettling to U.S. leaders who view South Korea and Japan as the nation’s most important allies in the region — and the best hope for keeping China in check. The United States has more than 60,000 troops stationed across Japan and South Korea and consults with both nations regularly on the pariah state of North Korea, considered a wildly erratic nuclear threat.

“Japan and South Korea are not that interested in coming to the table together. It makes our life far more complicated,” Economy said. “They’re our allies in the region and to have them feuding certainly is not in our interest.

“We partner with them on a whole range of issues,” she added. “They’ve indicated they’re not interested in having a poor relationship, but neither side is willing to give and because the issues are really, in some respects, historical issues that have been brought up to the contemporary time, it’s a little more difficult to deal with.”

Economy suggested that one party in the dispute, whether Japan or South Korea, must make some sort of conciliatory gesture before there can be a thaw in their relationship.

“Clearly, it’s not easy or it would have already been fixed,” she said. “One side has to rein in and do some of the public diplomacy.”

Speaking of diplomacy, Caroline Kennedy, the new U.S. ambassador to Japan, is taking a new approach to a bilateral relationship that has long been full of platitudes and niceties. After an initial honeymoon, Kennedy — the daughter of President John F. Kennedy — publicly expressed her chagrin at Japan’s practice of slaughtering dolphins that have been effectively corralled into coves.

“Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing,” Kennedy tweeted in January after the annual ritual — one that Japanese officials insist is culturally important.

Economy said Kennedy, like any ambassador, needs to carefully balance the criticisms that she conveys publicly and privately.

“No country likes to be criticized by their foreign ambassadors, but she is our representative and when issues arise … it’s important that she represent Washington’s views — the president’s views,” Economy said. “There is an element of diplomacy that goes along with being an ambassador and you have to pick and choose your issues, when you want to make a very public statement and when you want to indicate displeasure in private.

“That may take a little bit of an adjustment, especially I think for ambassadors that are not career diplomats but private sector individuals,” she added. “You can’t come out and criticize on every issue because you’ll lose your voice.”

Obama’s Asia tour, expected in late April, comes on the heels of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement in February that as part of mandatory spending cuts, the Pentagon plans to reduce the size of the U.S. Army to pre-World War II levels — at the same time that China has been steadily beefing up its own military budget. The announcement prompted some American hawks to complain that the military reduction undermines Obama’s previous claim that America would “pivot” its resources away from the Middle East to more pressing concerns in the Pacific. However, Washington has already shown some intent to put its money where its mouth is. The United States is now basing littoral ships in Singapore and rotating as many as 2,500 Marines through northern Australia, in addition to outfitting Japan with cutting-edge drones and radar systems.

Nevertheless, some in the military openly questioned Obama’s intentions when Hagel announced the Pentagon cuts.

“Right now, the pivot is being looked at again because, candidly, it can’t happen,” Katrina McFarland, assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, said at a defense conference in Washington in late February.

After a small uproar in the media, McFarland backed away from her statement somewhat, issuing a written one that aimed to put her remarks in context and stressed that the “rebalance to Asia can and will continue.”

Regardless of the clarification, Economy said McFarland’s comments were ill timed and likely played poorly in Asia.

“One of the things that officials and scholars in the region and Asia constantly bemoan is the fact that the United States tends to enter and exit the region depending on the degree of attention it is paid,” she said. “They don’t feel as though they can count on the United States to be deeply engaged consistently over time. So, to have an official in the Defense Department say we really just can’t afford it, and it’s basically not going to happen, obviously is not helpful to the credibility of the United States.

“People in Asia have come to expect that members of Congress will speak with many different voices, but it is not useful to have members of the military, for example, offering different perspectives on our ability to fulfill the pivot or how we perceive China’s military action,” Economy continued. “Obviously, this resonates through the region, and it’s important not only for our allies but for countries like China [who might] begin to think that no, the United States isn’t going to be present and … we’re going to push even harder right now because the U.S. doesn’t really have the resources.”

She added: “It’s poor politics across the board.”

Politics, though, may get in the way of one of the most pressing issues on Obama’s agenda during his Asia trip: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The free trade pact involves a dozen Pacific Rim nations, mostly in Asia but also Latin America, that account for 40 percent of the world’s GDP. Notably absent from the roster is China, which has viewed the TPP as an American power play in the Pacific.

However, Obama’s biggest obstacle may be his own party. Democrats are opposed to Trade Promotion Authority, which allows the president to submit free trade agreements to Congress for an up-or-down vote, without giving lawmakers the ability to make changes — considered key to getting complex trade deals through Capitol Hill. Democrats and labor groups argue that such sweeping trade deals outsource millions of American jobs to low-wage countries and erode environmental protections, while Republicans and business interests say they stimulate economic growth (although quite a few Republicans are also wary of giving Obama free rein to negotiate trade pacts).

The political gridlock has added to the perception of the president’s impotence on the world stage. In fact, partisan sniping forced Obama to cancel his Asia trip late last year, when the government shut down.

Economy said the political pushback on TPP from members of Obama’s own party “undermines his authority” abroad and doesn’t bode well for the pact’s chances in Congress.

“We did not initiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations but we are a primary force driving them at this point,” she told The Diplomat. “This is the centerpiece of our entire economic effort in the region so it is not helpful, clearly, to make it appear as though our ducks are not in a row when it comes to these trade negotiations because it completely undermines [U.S. Trade Representative] Mike Froman’s credibility and our credibility broadly in the region. It’s very hard for different countries to make concessions when they’re looking at the United States and saying they might not get this through Congress themselves.”

Although China is not a party to the TPP, Economy suggested its opposition to the trade pact is evolving.

“Early on it seemed [to Beijing] almost entirely an effort to contain China and to compete with China’s push on its own regional comprehensive economic partnership,” she explained. “Now, there are substantial groups within China — within the Ministry of Finance and Commerce — that are quite interested in the TPP and follow the negotiations quite closely, and talk to a range of actors and really think about the TPP as a mechanism to help push domestic reform when they can sit down at the table as well.”

While some international observers have questioned Obama’s decision to skip China on this Asia jaunt, Economy doesn’t see it as a big deal, especially since his wife, Michelle, visited China in March.

“That’s very public diplomacy,” Economy said. “I don’t think it’s necessary for the president to visit China every time he goes to Asia. The time for the president to go to China really should be, at this point, when we have some major issues we can discuss and make progress on. Until that time, I think it’s better to send Cabinet secretaries and others to try to work through issues until we’re ready to have some breakthroughs.”

But there needs to be an overarching strategy that makes clear the pivot is here to stay, she adds. “I continue to think that the rebalance is an important, in fact essential, framework for our approach to Asia. However, there needs to be someone of authority to oversee the messaging from Washington and to keep policy on track. It is useful to have senior officials travel frequently to the region, but the effort needs more coherence.” 


About the Author

Michael Coleman is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

   

Crimea: Failure of Diplomacy Becomes Russian Fait Accompli

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By Nicholas Clayton

Read more: Crimea: Failure of Diplomacy Becomes Russian Fait Accompli
   

Twenty Years After Its Genocide, Rwanda Issues Plea: Never Again

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Twenty Years After Its Genocide, Rwanda Issues Plea: Never Again
   

Death Penalty Divide Between EU, U.S. Leads to Shortage of Lethal Injection Drugs

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By Dave Seminara

Read more: Death Penalty Divide Between EU, U.S. Leads to Shortage of Lethal Injection Drugs
   

Former Military Man Becomes Myanmar’s Reluctant Ambassador

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Former Military Man Becomes Myanmar’s Reluctant Ambassador
   

Debate Over Net Neutrality Plays Out Across Atlantic

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By Luke Jerod Kummer

Read more: Debate Over Net Neutrality Plays Out Across Atlantic
   

The Second Arab Awakening And the Battle for Pluralism

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By Marwan Muasher

Read more: The Second Arab Awakening And the Battle for Pluralism
   

Dulles Brothers: Puppet Masters Of America’s ‘Secret World War?’

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By John Shaw

Read more: Dulles Brothers: Puppet Masters Of America’s ‘Secret World War?’
   

The Age of Men: Research Shows Father’s Biological Clock Matters

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By Gina Shaw

Read more: The Age of Men: Research Shows Father’s Biological Clock Matters
   

Local Hotels Recruit From Far and Wide

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

Read more: Local Hotels Recruit From Far and Wide
   

Cherry Blossoms Are Welcome Sight For Winter-Weary Washingtonians

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By Anna Gawel

Read more: Cherry Blossoms Are Welcome Sight For Winter-Weary Washingtonians
   

Washington’s Seventh Annual Home Makeover Builds on Its Success

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

Read more: Washington’s Seventh Annual Home Makeover Builds on Its Success
   

Francophonie Cultural Festival Brings Joie de Vivre to D.C.

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By Sarah Alaoui

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Montenegro Academics Take Studious Approach to Diplomacy

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By Gail Scott

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From World Leaders to Lady Gaga, a Portrait of People on the Move

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By Gary Tischler

Read more: From World Leaders to Lady Gaga, a Portrait of People on the Move
   

Moving Collaboration with the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company

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By Anna Gawel

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Scattered Plot Strands Don’t Gel in ‘Water by the Spoonful’

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By Lisa Troshinsky

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Winogrand Retrospective Fills in Blanks of Prolific Career

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By Gary Tischler

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Founding Farmers Cultivates Loyal Following in Maryland

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By Rachel G. Hunt

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Indonesian Martial Arts Machine Is Better Than Red Bull

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By Ky N. Nguyen

Read more: Indonesian Martial Arts Machine Is Better Than Red Bull
   

Anderson and Friends Create Mayhem in 1930s Budapest Hotel

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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Films - April 2014

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By Cari

Languages

Arabic

Dutch

German

Korean

Slovak


Bengali

English

Hindi

Kurdish

Spanish


Czech

Farsi

Italian

Mandarin

Swahili

Danish

French

Japanese

Polish

Swedish

Arabic

 Ladder to Damascus
(Soullam ila Dimashk)
Directed by Mohamed Malas
(Qatar/Lebanon/Syria, 2013, 95 min.)
Ghalia is haunted by the soul of a girl who drowned the day she was born and travels to Damascus to better understand her condition. There, she meets an aspiring filmmaker as the tumultuous events in Syria start unfolding around them.
Filmfest DC

Return to Homs
Directed by Talal Derki
(Syria/Germany, 2013, 87 min.)
Filmed over three years, this film follows two young Syrian men whose dreams of freedom changed as war erupted around them.
Filmfest DC 

Bengali

Act Zero
Directed by Goutam Ghose
(India, 2013, 127 min.)
A corporate high-flier is sent to the hinterland to clear tribal villages for a mining project. There, he meets an intrepid journalist and growing Maoist violence.
Filmfest DC

Czech

Cosy Dens
(Pelísky)

Directed by Jan Hrebejk
(Czech Republic, 1999, 116 min.)

In 1967, just months before Soviet tanks roll into Czechoslovakia, two families find themselves caught on different sides of the political spectrum in this coming-of-age story (Czech and Russian).

Bistro Bohem
Thu., April 10, 7 p.m.

Honeymoon
(Líbánky)

Directed by Jan Hrebejk
(Czech Republic/Slovakia, 2013, 92 min.)

During a wedding in a small Czech town, a bride and the groom get ready to exchange their vows when an uninvited guest arrives, carrying secrets that will test the new couple’s bond.

The Avalon Theatre
Wed., April 9, 8 p.m.

Kawasaki’s Rose
(Kawasakiho ruze)

Directed by Jan Hrebejk
(Czech Republic, 2009, 100 min.)

A prestigious psychiatrist is set to receive a state honor for his courageous work as a dissident when it comes to light that at the beginning of the 1970s, the secret police coerced him into discrediting a former friend (part of the Visegrad V4 Film Series).

Embassy of the Czech Republic
Tue., April 8, 7 p.m.

Danish

The Keeper of Lost Causes
(Kvinden I buret)

Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard

(Denmark/Germany/Sweden, 2013, 97 min.)

In this Nordic noir, police inspector Carl Mørck is put in charge of a department of cold cases and, joined only by his assistant, digs into a case about a disappeared woman (Danish, Swedish and Arabic).

Filmfest DC

Dutch

Romantic Brasserie
(Brasserie Romantiek)

Directed by Joël Vanhoebrouck
(Belgium, 2012, 104 min.)

Pascaline runs a stylish brasserie and on Valentine’s Day her old flame from 20 years ago suddenly reappears and asks her to leave right now for Rio.

Filmfest DC

English

Alhelm: Martin Luther King in Palestine

Directed by Connie Field
(U.S./Palestine, 2012, 93 min.)

An African American gospel choir is the Greek chorus for a Palestinian play on Martin Luther King Jr. that tours the West Bank, preaching nonviolence.

Filmfest DC

Anna Karenina

Directed by Julien Duvivier
(U.K., 1948, 112 min.)

Vivien Leigh gives an edgy, emotional charge to her performance as Anna in Alexander Korda's handsomely appointed postwar version of Tolstoy's great tragedy.

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., April 6, 11:30 a.m.,
Mon., April 7, 7:10 p.m.

Band of Sisters

Directed by Mary Fishman
(U.S., 2012, 88 min.)

In the wake of the Vatican II reforms of the 1960s, American nuns took it upon themselves to put word into action, coming out of the cloister and engaging with the world.

AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., April 11, 7:15 p.m.

Big Men

Directed by Rachel Boynton
(U.K./Denmark/U.S., 2013, 99 min.)

In 2007, U.S.-based Kosmos Energy discovers the first oil in the history of the West African republic of Ghana. What follows over the next five years is a twisting tale of greed and deception, which director Rachel Boynton films with razor-sharp journalistic skill.

Theater TBA

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Directed by Wes Anderson
(U.S./Germany, 2014, 100 min.)

Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend navigate a series of adventures in the midst of a changing continent (English and French).

AFI Silver Theatre

Angelika Mosaic
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

The Grand Seduction

Directed by Don McKellar
(Canada, 2013, 115 min.)

Residents of a quaint Newfoundland fishing village conspire to convince a big-city doctor into becoming the town’s physician.

Filmfest DC

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Directed by Frank Pavich
(U.S./France, 2013, 90 min.)

This story traces Chilean cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel “Dune” (English, French, German and Spanish).

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Lost Highway

Directed by David Lynch
(France/U.S., 1997, 135 min.)

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he suffers an intense headache and wakes the next morning as a young auto mechanic in a new life.

AFI Silver Theatre
Tue., April 1, 7:30 p.m.

Lost Son of Havana

Directed by Jonathan Hock
(U.S., 2009, 102 min.)

Former pitching great Luis Tiant returns to Cuba for the first time since leaving in 1961 at age 20 for a bittersweet reunion with his homeland and family members.

AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., April 10, 7:10 p.m.

Nymphomaniac: Volume I

Directed by Lars von Trier
(Denmark/Germany/France/Belgium/U.K., 2013, 110 min.)

A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Only Lovers Left Alive

Directed by Jim Jarmusch
(U.K./Germany/France/Cyprus/U.S., 2013, 123 min.)

Two fragile and sensitive vampires who have been lovers for centuries are both cultured intellectuals who have evolved to a level where they no longer kill for sustenance, but still retain their innate wildness.

Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., April 18

Particle Fever

Directed by Mark Levinson
(U.S., 2013, 99 min.)

Six brilliant scientists mark the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

The Red Dance

Directed by Raoul Walsh
(U.S., 1928, 90 min.)

In this epic tale of the Russian Revolution, an open-minded grand duke falls for a revolution-minded peasant girl who dreams of becoming a dancer, while a peasant leader rises to the rank of general in the Red Army.

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., April 5, 1:45 p.m.

The Roaring Twenties

Directed by Raoul Walsh
(U.S., 1939, 106 min.)

Former World War I army buddies James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart cross paths years later while employed in New York’s bootlegging business.

AFI Silver Theatre
April 4 to 10

Sugar

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
(U.S./Dominican Republic, 2008, 114 min.)

Pitching prospect Miguel “Sugar” Santos makes journey from San Pedro de Macorís in the Dominican Republic to the small-town farm team of the Kansas City Knights.

AFI Silver Theatre
Tue., April 8, 7:10 p.m.

The Unknown Known

Directed by Errol Morris
(U.S. 2013, 96 min.)

Using declassified memos, Errol Morris guides former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld through a discussion of his controversial career as a high-level executive under four different Republican presidents.

The Avalon Theatre
Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., April 4

Le Week-End

Directed by Roger Michell
(U.K./France, 2013, 93 min.)

A long-married British couple revisits Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to rekindle their relationship.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

White Lies

Directed by Dana Rotberg
(New Zealand, 2013, 96 min.)

A Maori healer faces a difficult ethical dilemma as she tries to help a European settler’s wife (English and Maori).

Filmfest DC

Farsi

From Tehran to Heaven
(Az Tehran Ta Behesht)

Directed by Abolfazl Saffary
(Iran/Germany, 2013, 75 min.)

Strange things happen in a woman’s desperate search to find her husband after he was abducted.

Filmfest DC

French

2 Autumns, 3 Winters
(2 automnes 3 hivers)

Directed by Sébastien Betbeder
(France, 2013, 91 min.)

Arman is 33 and ready to make a change, starting with a run in the park, where he literally bumps into the woman he believes is “the one,” while his best friend suffers a stroke and is relegated to the hospital, where he falls for his doting young physical therapist.

Avalon Theatre

Wed., April 16, 8 p.m.

11.6

Directed by Philippe Godeau
(France, 2013, 102 min.)

An armored security guard with an impeccable 10-year record vanishes with 11.6 million euro in the heist of the century.

Filmfest DC

Bright Days Ahead
(Les beaux jours)

Directed by Marion Vernoux
(France, 2013, 98 min.)

Caroline, a married retired dentist, takes a class on computers and starts an affair with her significantly younger lecturer.

The Avalon Theatre

Le Chef
(Comme un chef)

Directed by Daniel Cohen
(France/Spain, 2012, 84 min.)

A veteran chef faces off against his restaurant group’s new CEO, who wants to the establishment to lose a star from its rating in order to bring in a younger chef who specializes in molecular gastronomy (French, Spanish, Japanese and English).

Filmfest DC

Ernest and Celestine

Directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner
(France/Belgium/Luxembourg, 2012, 80 min.)

Unlike her fellow hard-working mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer — and when she nearly ends up as breakfast for Ernest the bear, the two form an unlikely bond (French and English dubbed).

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Le Divorce

Directed by Manouchka Kelly Labouba
(Gabon, 2008, 40 min.)

Magloire and Florence got married according to tradition with the approval of their families. Three years later, they face a serious crisis and want to divorce, but still need the consent of their families to do so.

Alliance Française
Wed., April 2, 7 p.m.

Gare Du Nord

Directed by Claire Simon
(France/Canada, 2013, 119 min.)

In an iconic European train station lies a multicultural breeding ground of people who haven’t given up looking for something better (French, English and Italian).

Filmfest DC

Just a Sigh
(Le Temps de l’aventure)

Directed by Jérôme Bonnell
(France/Belgium/Ireland, 2013, 104 min.)

In the short break between performances in Calais, a stage actress makes a quick escape to Paris, where she meets a mysterious English stranger (French and English).

The Avalon Theatre

On My Way
(Elle s’en va)

Directed by Emmanuelle Bercot
(France, 2013, 113 min.)

Facing a failed relationship and a struggling restaurant, a woman hits the road for a trip with her grandson.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Rock the Casbah

Directed by Laïla Marrakchi
(France/Morocco, 2013, 100 min.)

In this bittersweet comedy that centers on a funeral, a Moroccan family gathers in the deceased’s villa to share the loss and memories of their dearly departed father and husband (French, Arabic and English).

Filmfest DC

German

Generation War Part 1 and 2

Directed by Philipp Kadelbach
(Part 1: Germany, 2013, 131 min.)
(Part 2: Germany, 2013, 148 min.)

Acclaimed as a German “Band of Brothers,” the blockbuster “Generation War” vividly depicts the lives of five young German friends forced to navigate the unconscionable moral compromises of life under Hitler.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

King Ordinary
(König von Deutschland)

Directed by David Dietl
(Germany/France, 2013, 97 min.)

An average man is tracked by a company of marketing experts who interpret his preferences and opinions as spot-on for the majority of the whole country.

Filmfest DC

M: A Fritz Lang Film

Directed by Fritz Lang
(Germany, 1931, 99 min.)

In Fritz Lang’s classic crime melodrama set in 1931 Berlin, the police, anxious to capture an elusive child murderer, begin rounding up every criminal in town, so the underworld leaders decide to take the heat off their activities by catching the child killer themselves.

Goethe-Institut
Thu., April 3, 7 p.m.

Hindi

Lakshmi

Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor
(India, 2014, 115 min.)

A young victim takes a stand against human trafficking and child prostitution in rural parts of India.

Filmfest DC

Italian

Honey
(Miele)

Directed by Valeria Golino
(Italy/France, 2013, 96 min.)

Irene has devoted herself to terminally ill people looking for help, trying to alleviate their suffering even when they make extreme decisions.

West End Cinema

Viva la libertà

Directed by Roberto Ando

(Italy, 2013, 94 min.)

When an opposition party leader is depressed and leaves one night without a trace, party leadership turns to his twin brother to hold things together (Italian and French).

Filmfest DC

Japanese

Adrift in Tokyo
(Tenten)

Directed by Satoshi Miki
(Japan, 2007, 110 min.)

In this brilliant ode to Tokyo’s street life and eccentric denizens, a slacker receives an unorthodox proposition from his debt collector: Accompany him on a walk across Tokyo and his debts will be cleared.

Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., April 13, 2 p.m.

The Great Passage
(Fune wo amu)

Directed by Yûya Ishii
(Japan, 2013, 134 min.)

An eccentric man with a canny ability with words helps to edit a new dictionary but finds himself distracted by his landlord’s beautiful granddaughter.

Filmfest DC

It’s Me, It’s Me
(Ore Ore)

Directed by Satoshi Miki
(Japan, 2013, 119 min.)

J-Pop star Kazuya Kamenashi plays 33 different characters in this surreal, Kafka-esque comedy.

Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., April 11, 7 p.m.

Korean

Cold Eyes
(Gam-si-ja-deul)

Directed by Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo
(South Korea, 2013, 119 min.)

A high-tech police surveillance team attempts to take down a gang of ruthless bank robbers.

Filmfest DC

Kurdish

My Sweet Pepper Land

Directed by Hiner Saleem
(France/Germany/Kurdistan, 2013, 100 min.)

A Kurdish independence war hero is stationed near the lawless border between Iran and Turkey, at the heart of illegal drug, medication and alcohol trafficking, in this delightful take on a cowboy movie set in Iraq Kurdistan (Kurdish, Arabic and Turkish).

Filmfest DC

Mandarin

Ilo Ilo

Directed by Anthony Chen
(Singapore, 2013, 99 min.)

In Singapore in the late 1990s, the friendship between a maid and a young boy ignites his mother’s jealousy, against the backdrop of the Asian recession (Mandarin, Tagalog, English and Hokkien).

Filmfest DC

A Touch of Sin
(Tian zhu ding)

Directed by Jia Zhang-ke
(China, 2013, 125 min.)

Four shocking (and true) acts of violence in China force the world's fastest-growing economy into a period of self-examination.

Freer Gallery of Art
Sat., April 26, 2 p.m.

Polish

The Mole
(Kret)

Directed by Rafael Lewandowski
(Poland/France, 2011, 108 min.)

A Polish man is shocked to discover his father's photo on the cover of a Polish tabloid newspaper accusing him of being a secret informer called “the mole” by the communist regime (part of the Visegrad V4 Film Series).

Embassy of Poland
Tue., April 15, 7 p.m.

Slovak

Mosquitoes’ Tango
(Tango s komármi)

Directed by Miroslav Luther
(Slovakia/Czech Republic, 2009, 97 min.)

Two emigrants return for a brief visit to Slovakia after spending many years abroad. Karol needs to get divorced because he wants to remarry, while his well-to-do fiancée, afraid he might break his promise, hires a second-rate actor to keep an eye on him (part of the third annual Visegrad V4 Film Series).

Embassy of the Slovak Republic
Tue., April 1, 7 p.m.

Spanish

15 Years and 1 Day
(15 años y un día)

Directed by Gracia Querejeta
(Spain, 2013, 96 min.)

Margo sends her son, a rebellious and free-spirited teen, to live with his grandfather, a retired military officer with his own style of discipline.

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., April 5, 7:45 p.m.

Bad Hair
(Pelo malo)

Directed by Mariana Rondón

(Venezuela/Peru/Argentina/Germany, 2013, 93 min.)

Nine-year-old Junior aches to straighten his luxurious dark curls to look like a longhaired singer, eliciting a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother.

Filmfest DC

The Golden Dream
(La Jaula de Oro)

Directed by Diego Quemada-Díez
(Guatemala/Spain/Mexico, 2013, 102 min.)

Three teens run into harsh realities when they flee Guatemala for the U.S. in search of a better life (Spanish and English).

Filmfest DC

A Gun in Each Hand
(Una pistola en cada mano)

Directed by Cesc Gay
(Spain, 2012, 95 min.)

The misadventures of eight men on the verge of a nervous breakdown collide in this witty battle of the sexes from Catalan filmmaker Cesc Gay.

AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., April 4, 9:45 p.m.

Map
(Mapa)

Directed by León Siminiani
(Spain/India, 2012, 85 min.)

After a young Spanish man gets fired from his job at a broadcasting company, he rediscovers his passion for making movies and travels to India in “search” of his first feature film.

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., April 6, 9:30 p.m.

The Noble Family
(Nosotros los Nobles)

Directed by Gary Alazraki
(Mexico, 2013, 108 min.)

Three spoiled children of a wealthy tycoon are cut off from their family fortune and forced to do the unthinkable — get a job.

Filmfest DC

Operation E
(Operación E)

Directed by Miguel Courtois
(Spain/France, 2012, 109 min.)

The life of a poor cocaine farmer, living with his family in a Colombian jungle ruled by FARC guerrillas, changes forever when the FARC demand he care for a sickly baby.

AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., April 4, 7:30 p.m.

People in Places
(Gente en sitios)

Directed by Juan Cavestany
(Spain, 2013, 83 min.)

A series of bizarre, Buñuelian scenarios offer a cracked view of contemporary Spain in the wake of its economic crisis.

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., April 6, 7:45 p.m.

Peru Sabe. Cuisine as an Agent of Social Change
(Perú Sabe. La cocina, arma social)

Directed by Jesús M. Santos
(Peru/Spain, 2012, 70 min.)

Two famous chefs embark on a journey to explore the roots of the splendor of Peruvian cuisine and its potential to transform lives.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., April 5, 6:10 p.m.

Unit 7
(Grupo 7)

Directed by Alberto Rodríguez
(Spain, 2012, 96 min.)

The drug problem in Seville is spiraling out of control as the city prepares to host the 1992 World Expo. With mounting pressure from the government to clean up the city, an overworked group of cops starts to write their own rules.

AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., April 3, 7:30 p.m.,
Sat., April 5, 9:45 p.m.

Swahili

Something Necessary

Directed by Judy Kibinge
(Germany/Kenya, 2013, 85 min.)

In the aftermath of the 2007 ethnic and political clashes in Kenya, a nurse and mother awakens from a coma to find that her once idyllic life will never be the same.

Filmfest DC

Swedish

Liv & Ingmar

Directed by Dheeraj Akolkar
(Norway/Sweden/U.K., 2012, 83 min.)

This is an affectionate yet truthful account of the 42-year-long relationship between legendary actress Liv Ullmann and master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (Swedish and English).

The Avalon Theatre
Wed., April 2, 8 p.m.

Love and Lemons
(Små citroner gula)

Directed by Teresa Fabik
(Sweden, 2013, 99 min.)

After being fired from the luxurious restaurant where she worked and dumped by her boyfriend, Agnes follows her dream to open up a new restaurant.

Filmfest DC

   

Events - April 2014

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EVENT CATEGORIES

Art

Dance

Discussions

 

Food

 

Theater

Galas

Music


ART 

April 1 to May 1

Homeland

Swedish artist Ingalena Klenell’s work explores fragility and vulnerability, both in the material of glass and in life itself. “Homeland” asks visitors to ponder the relationship between landscape and memory and how those two elements coincide to create a feeling of home.

House of Sweden

April 1 to June 1

Double Mirror

Paintings, drawings, photography, reliefs, video projection and other installations by 30 Korean and Korean-American artists convey the complexity and richness of being a creative wanderer in the mainstream art world, while also exploring the challenges of being a minority in the United States.

American University Katzen Arts Center

April 3 to 16

Old Jewish Town Within Us

The Embassy of the Czech Republic, in collaboration with the Embassy of Israel, presents an exhibit by renowned artist Mark Podwal that explores the history and legends of Jewish Prague, followed by the lecture “Recreating the Golem: From the Talmud to Kafka” on opening day on April 3. To schedule a viewing, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Embassy of the Czech Republic

April 3 to July 7

Territories and Subjectivities: Contemporary Art from Argentina

This exhibition featuring 33 innovative artists presents a vigorous panorama of fresh trends from various regions of the country, examining the very notion of territory not as an inherent condition of the world that we share, but as something that humans define for themselves through subjective means.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas

April 9 to Aug. 17

Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone

The exhibition features some 70 artworks from the collection of William Siegmann (1943–2011) — a former curator of African art at the Brooklyn Museum who lived and worked in Liberia for more than two decades — that survey the traditional arts of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

National Museum of African Art

Through April 13

Judy Chicago: Circa ’75

The iconic body of work from the 1970s by Judy Chicago demonstrates the prominent feminist artist’s firm belief in the power of art to redress gender inequalities.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through April 25

gute aussichten: new german photography 2013-2014

An espresso machine drowning in its own coffee, people scarred by their existence on the margins of society or staged in such absurd poses that the viewer is left startled and puzzled. Now in its tenth year,gute aussichten 2013/2014 presents a range of surprisingly diverse ideas, reflections and photography that not only depicts the current status quo but also inspires.

Goethe-Institut

Through April 26

Retrospective: Betty Murchison

Betty Murchison has spent her life examining intimate moments and relationships, specifically those between girls and women, with figurative renderings that are quiet yet intense.

International Visions Gallery

April 26 to Aug. 17

An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle

Jess Collins and his partner, the poet Robert Duncan, merged their personal and artistic lives by exploring their mutual interest in cultural mythologies, transformative narrative and the appropriation of images.

American University Katzen Arts Center

April 26 to Sept. 14

Meret Oppenheim: Tender Friendships

More than 20 artworks and archival papers by Swiss surrealist Meret Oppenheim (1913-85) explore friendship as a source of support and inspiration, as seen through two 18th-century poets, Bettina von Brentano and Karoline von Günderode.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through 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 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 May 17

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 22

Unanswered Prayers

The photographs of Anna Paola Pizzocaro, a renowned New York-based artist from Milan, carry traces of her collaborations with Luc Besson and David La Chappelle and tell the story of a dream-like trip between reality and imagination, as oceanic images combined with wildlife and human figures in urban settings become one.

Embassy of Italy

Through May 23

Retrato en Voz Alta

Portraits of contemporary Mexican artists by photographer Allan Fis includes subjects such as revered Mexican visual artists Pedro Friedeberg and José Luis Cuevas in a resounding visual essay on those who have dedicated their lives to art.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas

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

Garry Winogrand

A renowned photographer of New York City and American life from the 1950s through the early 1980s, Garry Winogrand worked with dazzling energy and a voracious appetite. In the first retrospective of his work in 25 years, some 180 photographs in the exhibition and more than 350 in the accompanying catalogue will reveal for the first time the full breadth of Winogrand’s art.

National Gallery of Art

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 June 15

Gravity’s Edge

One of a series of exhibitions drawn from the collection of the Hirshhorn in celebration of the museum’s 40th anniversary, “Gravity’s Edge” offers an expanded view of Color Field painting, which spanned from 1959 to 1978.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through June 15

Rineke Dijkstra: The Krazyhouse

“The Krazyhouse” is a four-channel video installation by Rineke Dijkstra created in 2009 at a popular dance club in Liverpool that presents a group of five young people in their teens and early 20s dancing and singing.

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through June 15

Shakespeare’s the Thing

Marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, this exhibition presents a miscellany of treasures in the Folger collection from Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio to modern fine art prints, revealing the Bard’s influence on performance, adaptation, scholarship, printing, fine art and even in mild obsession.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Through June 21

Light Touch

The Cultural Service of the Embassy of France, in partnership with Maryland Art Place (MAP), features the work of five artists who explore aspects of the physical world through the lens of light as both a medium and a resource of value to our natural environment.

BWI Airport

Through June 29

Modern German Prints and Drawings from the Kainen Collection

Ruth Kainen’s love of German expressionism, first displayed at the gallery in the 1985 exhibition “German Expressionist Prints from the Collection of Ruth and Jacob Kainen,” will be celebrated with 123 works recently donated to the gallery through her bequest, as well as with a few of her earlier gifts.

National Gallery of Art

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 July 27

Chigusa and the Art of Tea

“Chigusa” tells the story of a 700-year-old ordinary tea jar that rose to become one of the most famous and revered objects in the Japanese “art of tea” — so much so that it was granted a name, luxurious accessories and a devoted following.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through July 27

Kiyochika: Master of the Night

On Sept. 3, 1868, the city called Edo ceased to exist. Renamed Tokyo by Japan’s new rulers, the city became the primary experiment in a national drive toward modernization. Kobayashi Kiyochika, a self-trained artist, set out to record his views of Tokyo in an ambitious and auspicious series of 100 prints.

Arthur M. Sackler 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

Through Aug. 31

Made in the USA: American Masters from The Phillips Collection, 1850–1970

Following an acclaimed four-year world tour, the Phillips’s renowned collection of American masterworks returns to the museum to tell the story of American art from the late 19th-century to the mid-20th century, when it became a significant global force after World War II.

The Phillips Collection

Through Sept. 14

Bountiful Waters: Aquatic Life in Japanese Art

This exhibition features a selection of prints, paintings, illustrated books and ceramics that depict the Japanese appreciation for the beauty and variety of fish and other species.

Freer Gallery of Art

Through Sept. 21

Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

A community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has developed a new form of bead art — using black fabric as a canvas and different colored Czech glass beads as the medium of expression — to empower local women.

The Anacostia Community Museum

DANCE

Sat., April 5, 7 p.m.

Bhangra Blowout XXI

Now in its 21st year, Bhangra Blowout is an intercollegiate South Asian dance competition featuring a high-energy style of dance that is one of the largest South Asian events in the country. Tickets are $20 or $25.

GW Lisner Auditorium

Fri., April 4, 8 p.m.

Moscow Festival Ballet: Swan Lake

This enchanting fantasy ballet is one of the most magical and deeply emotional works in the classical ballet canon and a must-see for lovers of great ballet in the grand Russian tradition. Tickets are $40 to $56.

George Mason University Hylton Performing Arts Center

Sat., April 5, 8 p.m.
Sun., April 6, 4 p.m.

Moscow Festival Ballet: Romeo and Juliet & Chopiniana

This renowned company from Moscow stages two of the most romantic classical works — Shakespeare’s tragic love story and Chopin’s romantic reverie — in the grand tradition of Russian ballet. Tickets are $28 to $56.

George Mason University Center for the Arts

April 15 to 20

American Ballet Theatre

American Ballet Theatre offers a feast of choreographic fireworks with its spirited staging of “Don Quixote” (April 17-20) plus works by Michel Fokine, Sir Frederick Ashton and Marcelo Gomes (April 15 and 16). Tickets are $25 to $109.

Kennedy Center Opera House

April 16 to 27

The Washington Ballet: Peter Pan

Take a high-flying adventure to Neverland with the Washington Ballet's new production of Septime Webre's dazzling “Peter Pan,” a swashbuckling coming of age tale that pits Peter and the Lost Boys against Captain Hook. Tickets are $25 to $125.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

April 30 to May 3

Urban Corps 2014: A Transatlantic Urban Dance Festival

The Alliance Française’s annual transatlantic urban dance festival comes back to D.C. for its third year with powerful performances from urban dancers, musicians and speakers whose distinct backgrounds in arts such as miming, acrobatics, DJ, video and American urban dance present an unrivaled vantage point on metropolitan culture and identity. For information, visit www.francedc.org.

Various locations

DISCUSSIONS

Wed., April 2, 10:30 a.m.

U.S.-Taiwan Security Relations

The Center for a New American Security hosts an expert panel discussion to evaluate U.S.-Taiwan security relations on the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, with Taiwanese Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Hsia giving the keynote speech, followed by a panel discussion with American experts. For information, visit www.cnas.org.

JW Marriott

Sat., April 5, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A Roman Pilgrimage

In the 40 days leading up to Easter, Rome becomes the site of a citywide pilgrimage that follows a route and a liturgy established more than 1,500 years ago. Art historian Lisa Passaglia Bauman traces this journey to weave together Christian thought and Lenten practice with art history. Tickets are $130; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

Wed., April 9, 8 a.m.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou

In this video conference, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou discusses several key issues in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, with moderator Christopher K. Johnson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and CSIS President John Hamre. For information, visit www.csis.org.

CSIS

Wed., April 9, 7 p.m.

Hear Now! The Culture Question: New Stories from Pakistan

NPR’s Bilal Qureshi shares excerpts of his recent reporting and personal travels through Pakistan, where artists and writers are becoming increasingly prominent on the international stage but must still reconcile their work with Pakistan’s enduring crises. Admission is free; RSVP at www.goetheinstitutwashington.eventbrite.com.

Goethe-Institut

Thu., April 10, 4 p.m.

Real Realpolitik: A History

Dr. John Bew, the Henry A. Kissinger chair in foreign policy and international relations at the Library of Congress, argues why real realpolitik is ripe for excavation and rediscovery as it undergoes a renaissance in the English-speaking world.

Library of Congress
John W. Kluge Center Room LJ-119

Sat., April 12, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Making of Modern Iraq

Joseph Sassoon of Georgetown University provides a historical, cultural and socioeconomic context for Iraq’s emergence in the last century as one of the Middle East’s most politically charged nations. Tickets are $130; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

Tue., April 15, 6:45 p.m.

Vaudeville’s Melting Pot: Irish and African Americans on Stage

With support from the Irish Embassy, cultural historians Lenwood O. Sloan and Mick Moloney explore the vaudeville-era exchanges and rivalries between African Americans and Irish immigrants through the song, dance and comedy of the popular performances of the time. Tickets are $25; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

Wed., April 16, 6:45 p.m.

Mapping the Middle East

An understanding of today’s Arab-Israeli world needs to be rooted in the knowledge of how the geography changed and developed over time. Using maps and documents, Ralph Nurnberger of Georgetown University highlights how the countries in this area have shifted boundaries over hundreds of years — and how those changes have affected their inhabitants’ views of their own histories. Tickets are $42; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

Wed., April 23, 7 p.m.

Time for Taiwan

Taiwan is one of Asia's industrial powerhouses, and its diverse natural assets and cultural attractions make it a draw for visitors as well. Take an armchair tour of Taiwan’s beauties, customs and traditions with Pauline Frommer, co-president of Frommer Media, complemented by classical Taiwanese folk songs performed on the erhu, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument, by Juilliard graduate Wei-Yang Andy Lin and other musicians. A tasting of Taiwanese treats and bubble teas closes the journey. Tickets are $40; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

National Museum of Natural History

Sat., April 26, 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Painters in Provence: From Van Gogh to Matisse

Art historian Bonita Billman looks into the inspiration that places like Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, St. Remy, St. Tropez and Nice provided for the brilliantly colored works produced by 19th and early-20th century painters. Tickets are $130; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

Tue., April 29, 6:45 p.m.

Burma: The Next Vacation Hot Spot

For travelers, Burma is the next Vietnam as the previously insular nation opens up to visitors and intrepid tourists. Donald Stadtner offers a virtual tour of Burma’s golden Buddhist temples, floating markets and lush landscapes previously seen by few from the Western world. Tickets are $42; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

FESTIVALS

April 25 and 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

11th Annual Georgetown French Market

FBringing a bit of Paris to D.C., Georgetown's 11th Annual French Market returns to the charming Book Hill neighborhood on upper Wisconsin Avenue, between P Street and Reservoir Road, with two days of fashion finds, French food, quaint home and antique shops, galleries and live music. With more than 30 participating shops, galleries and cafes, the French Market has become Georgetown's springtime start for shoppers, foodies and families. For information, visit georgetowndc.com or @georgetowndc on Twitter and Facebook.

Georgetown

FOOD

April 10 to 17

Thai Restaurant Week 2014

As people in Thailand celebrate the traditional Thai New Year known as Songkran, the Royal Thai Embassy brings the celebrations to Washington with Thai Restaurant Week 2014, featuring special noodle dishes from various participating Thai restaurants in D.C., Maryland and Virginia showcasing the vibrancy of Thai food. For information, visit http://www.thaiembdc.org/thairestaurantweek2014.

Various locations

GALAS

Thu., April 10, 6:30 p.m.

Tango with the Stars

The contemporary ballet company Chamber Dance Project present an Argentine-themed gala that includes a seductive tango dance competition featuring D.C. celebrities partnered with professional tango dancers, an Argentinean dinner and a silent auction. Proceeds will benefit the dancers’ selected charities and Chamber Dance Project’s upcoming season at the Kennedy Center, sponsored by the Embassy of Argentina. Tickets are $250 to $500; for information, visit http://chamberdance.org/gala-tickets/.

One Metro Center

Fri., April 25, 7 p.m.

Corcoran Ball

Former U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall serves as the honorary chair of the 59th annual Corcoran Ball, whose proceeds benefit Corcoran Access, a multi-year project to digitize the Corcoran's renowned collection. Tickets begin at $600; tickets for the after-hours Club Corcoran are $95.

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Sat., April 26, 6:30 p.m.

Celebrazione della Cura

Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero serves as the honorary diplomatic host of “A Celebration of Caring” to benefit the 125th anniversary of the Washington Home & Community Hospices, whose health care services help aging, chronically and terminally ill patients, including those with cancer, Alzheimer’s and HIV/AIDS. The evening includes a cocktail party and elegant Italian market featuring upscale clothing, leather goods, jewelry, ceramics, perfumes and wines, as well as live band, living statues, opera singers and a Russian violinist. For ticket information, visit WhatMattersToMe.org.

Embassy of Italy

Wed., April 30, 6:15 p.m.

Refugees International 35th Anniversary Diner

Refugees International (RI) will honor José Andrés, renowned chef and advocate for sustainable solutions to combat hunger worldwide, and Forest Whitaker, an Academy Award-winning actor and distinguished social activist, at RI’s 35th anniversary dinner, emceed by actor Matt Dillon with UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba serving as honorary diplomatic chair. Tickets are $400. For information, visit http://refugeesinternational.org/events/35th-anniversary-dinner.

Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

April 30 to May 3

Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction

Heart’s Delight, widely recognized as a premier destination event where master winemakers, culinary greats and distinguished guests gather to play and bid in the nation’s capital, features four days of exceptional food and wine with unique touches woven throughout, including a series of ambassador-hosted dinners and a Vintners Dinner at Mellon Auditorium. Over the past 14 years, Heart’s Delight has raised more than $12 million for the American Heart Association. For information, visit http://heartsdelightwineauction.org.

Various locations

MUSIC

Fri., April 4, 7:30 p.m.

Selección Nacional de Tango from Argentina

Selección Nacional de Tango, which began in 2005 by selling out the Teatro Colón opera house in Buenos Aires, comes together in D.C. to form an all-star tango ensemble whose musicians alternate roles, playing instruments and directing.

Embassy of Argentina

Sun., April 6, 7 p.m.

Buika

Buika’s infectious sound blends the heat of Africa, the soul of Spain and the lilt of the islands into a style that is all her own, incorporating flamenco, jazz and R&B. Tickets are $38 to $58.

Music Center at Strathmore

Thu., April 10, 6:30 p.m.

Meta and the Cornerstones, Live Reggae

Meta’s unforgettable vocals are complemented by the incomparable sounds of his band, the Cornerstones, which fuses reggae, Afro-pop, hip-hop, rock and soul music with passionate lyrics in English, French, Wolof and Fulani.

Inter-American Development Bank
Enrique V. Iglesias Auditorium

April 11 to 13

A Polish Renaissance: Music of Poland’s Golden Age

The Folger Consort enters into an eastern tributary to the main stream of Renaissance music — the rarely heard, extraordinary musical art of what was then Europe’s largest kingdom. Tickets are $37.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Fri., April 25, 7:30 p.m.

Mendelssohn Piano Trio

For the past 15 years, the Mendelssohn Piano Trio, the ensemble-in-residence of the Embassy Series, has been thrilling audiences in the U.S. and abroad with its rare combination of powerful individual talent and tight-knit collaboration that is the hallmark of a truly exceptional chamber music ensemble. Tickets are $90; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Slovenia

Sun., April 27

The Choral Arts Society of Washington: Tango! Soul and Heart

Tango! Soul and Heart begins with two spiritual pieces: Ginastera's “Lamentations of Jeremiah” is a sacred a cappella motet by arguably the most important Argentine composer, while “Misa Tango” is a mass with tango rhythms and the iconic sounds of the bandoneón, an accordion-style instrument. Tickets are $15 to $75.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall

THEATER

April 2 to 27

Two Trains Running

The seventh play in August Wilson’s acclaimed “Century Cycle,” “Two Trains Running” tells the story of African American life in the 1960s in an inspiring, humorous, potent portrait of ordinary people at a turning point in American history. Please call for ticket information.

Round House Theatre Bethesda

Through April 6

Hamlet … the rest is silence

Synetic Theater remounts its original “silent Shakespeare” production, an iconic tale of a grief-stricken prince torn between duty, love, conscience and fear. Tickets start at $35.

Synetic Theater

Through April 6

World Stages: The Adventures of Robin Hood, Visible Fictions

Last seen at the Kennedy Center with their wacky spin on “Jason and the Argonauts” using action figures, Scotland's acclaimed theater company Visible Fictions returns with this inventive and humorous adaptation of the folk legend Robin Hood. Tickets are $20.

Kennedy Center Family Theater

April 9 to May 4

Moth

Anime-obsessed Sebastian and emo-Wiccan Claryssa survive high school with a mix of imagination and belligerence, but then a horrific event sends Sebastian on an apocalyptic mission, changing their friendship forever. Tickets are $30 to $35.

Studio Theatre

Through April 12

Doubt, A Parable
Insurrection: Holding History

A contemporary African American graduate student confronts the specter of his 189-year-old great-great grandfather in “Insurrection: Holding History,” which runs in repertory with “Doubt, A Parable,” a contemporary classic that takes place in a parochial school in the Bronx in 1964, on the cusp of radical social change. Tickets are $15 to $18.

Georgetown University David Performing Arts Center

Through April 13

Brief Encounter

Cornish theater company Kneehigh’s production of “Brief Encounter,” a new creation based on the iconic 1945 movie and Noël Coward’s one-act play “Still Life,” switches seamlessly between live theatre and projected film footage, taking audiences to a bygone age of romance and the silver screen. Tickets are $30 to $75.

The Shakespeare Lansburgh Theatre

Through April 13

Water by the Spoonful

An ex-Marine cares for his dying mom and tries to acclimate to civilian life, while online, four addicts cling to their chat room support group, struggling for another day sober. These lives collide as events small and large threaten their fragile stabilities. Tickets are $39 to $75.

The Studio Theatre

April 17 to May 25

Fiasco Theater’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona

New York’s inventive Fiasco Theater has established its reputation for bringing Shakespeare’s most whimsical and timeless tales to the stage. This dizzying romantic adventure is a comedy filled with bandits, mistaken identity and also the “sourest-natured” dog Crab. Tickets are $30 to $72.

Folger Shakespeare Library

April 22 to June 1

The Threepenny Opera

The haves clash with the have-nots while MacHeath, the ultimate sneering antihero, perches in the middle of the storm in this futuristic dystopia set in London’s gritty underworld. Please call for ticket information. 

Signature Theatre

April 24 to May 18

Living Out

Ana, a Salvadoran nanny and a mother of two, and Nancy, a lawyer challenged by fulfilling both personal and professional goals, are two working mothers who make difficult choices so they can provide a better life for their children. Please call for ticket information.

GALA Hispanic Theatre 

April 24 to May 18

Tango Turco (Turkish Tango)

In this comedy by Teatro de la Luna, two lovers and tango dancers from Argentina must escape after committing an uncertain and painful act, eventually teaming up with a Lebanese guitarist. Tickets are $25 or $35.

Gunston Arts Center – Theater Two

April 26 and 27

Me and My Shadow

This new show from Australia’s renowned Patch Theatre Company uses a combination of light and shadow, paper and water, fantastical imagery, and intriguing sounds to reveal the perplexities and pleasures of friendship. Tickets are $20.

Kennedy Center Family Theater 

Through May 4

Camp David

Nestled in Catoctin Mountain Park lies the clandestine retreat known as Camp David, where for 13 tumultuous days, President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn host Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in an attempt to create the impossible: peace in the Middle East. Please call for ticket information.

Arena Stage

Through May 11

Tender Napalm

A pair of young lovers creates a fantastical, often violent world through an interweaving dialogue of increasing perplexity. At the heart of their fantasies lies an unimaginable tragedy that both bonds and breaks the two. Please call for ticket information. 

Signature Theatre

Through June 7

Henry IV, Part 1

A young prince must decide between tavern roughhousing and the burden of his father’s legacy in the coming-of-age story of heroism, corruption and war, directed by Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Michael Kahn and starring Stacy Keach. Tickets start at $20.

Shakespeare Theatre Harman Hall 

   

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