Home The Washington Diplomat January 2016 Films – January 2016

Films – January 2016












Directed by Naji Abu Nowar

(UAE/Qatar/Jordan/U.K., 2015, 100 min.)

While war rages in the Ottoman Empire, Hussein raises his younger brother Theeb (“Wolf”) in a traditional Bedouin community that is isolated by the vast, unforgiving desert. The brothers’ quiet existence is suddenly interrupted when a British Army officer and his guide ask Hussein to escort them to a water well located along the old pilgrimage route to Mecca.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema




Directed by John Crowley

(Ireland/U.K./Canada, 2015, 111 min.)

An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a new romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

Angelika Mosaic



Directed by Todd Haynes

(U.K./U.S./France, 2015, 118 min.)

Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.

Angelika Mosaic

Opens Fri., Dec. 25


The Danish Girl

Directed by Tom Hooper

(U.K./Germany/U.S., 2015, 120 min.)

In early 1920s Copenhagen, Danish artist, Gerda Wegener painted her own husband, Einar Wegener, as a lady in her painting. When the painting gained popularity, Einar started to adopt a female persona and named himself Lili Elbe. With his feminism passion and Gerda’s support, Elbe attempted first-ever male to female sex reassignment surgery.

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark’s E Street Cinema


In the Heart of the Sea

Directed by Ron Howard

(U.S., 2015, 121 min.)

Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a giant whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.

Angelika Mosaic



Directed by Kent Jones

(France/U.S., 2015, 82 min.)

In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock and a 30-year-old François Truffaut sequestered themselves in a windowless Hollywood office for a weeklong conversation. The result: the seminal book “Hitchcock/Truffaut,” published a half century ago, dissecting every film Hitchcock had made until then (English, French and Japanese).

Landmark’s E Street Cinema


The Lady in the Van

Directed by Nicholas Hytner

(U.K., 2016, 104 min.)

In 1973, the residents of the leafy London enclave of Camden Town found their liberal pieties tested by the arrival of an eccentric, elderly vagrant who lived out of her van and upset the neighborhood’s prevailing pretensions of charity and inclusiveness.

Angelika Mosaic

Opens Fri., Jan. 22



Directed by Justin Kurzel

(U.K./France/U.S., 110 min.)

Macbeth, a Thane of Scotland, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark’s E Street Cinema


The Revenant

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu

(U.S., 2015, 156 min.)

In the 1820s, a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

Angelika Mosaic

Opens Fri., Jan. 8



Directed by Paolo Sorrentino

(Italy/France/Switzerland/U.K., 2015, 118 min.)

A retired orchestra conductor is on holiday with his daughter and his film director best friend in the Alps when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday (English, Spanish and Swiss German).

Landmark’s E Street Cinema



Directed by Morteza Farshbaf

(Iran, 2015, 90 min.)

In celebration of the Iranian Film Festival’s 20th anniversary, acclaimed actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya appears in person to present her latest film and discuss her illustrious career. In “Avalanche,” she plays a veteran nurse hired to care for a critically ill woman during a snowstorm.

National Gallery of Art

Sun., Jan. 31, 4 p.m.


The Cow

Directed by Dariush Mehrjui

(Iran, 1969, 104 min.)

There are other films about men and cows, but they can hardly be called love stories, nor do they powerfully explore madness, solitude, and obsession as this film does. This milestone of Iranian New Wave cinema tells the story of a poor villager whose only source of joy and livelihood is his cow, which provides milk for the village. One night the cow is mysteriously killed, and that’s when the madness, or transformation, begins.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Jan. 9, 1 p.m.


Jafar Panahi’s Taxi

Directed by Jafar Panahi

(Iran, 2015, 82 min.)

The affable director crisscrosses Tehran behind the wheel of a taxi, giving rides to a variety of denizens, ranging from a pirated DVD dealer to his charmingly chatty young niece, to the human rights lawyer who worked with him when he was in prison.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Jan. 23, 2 p.m.


The Night it Rained, or the Epic of the Gorgan Village Boy

Directed by Kamran Shirdel

(Iran, 1967, 40 min.)

This satirical documentary offers a crash course on 1960s Iran. A story about a heroic village boy who prevented a train disaster appears in a newspaper and spreads quickly. The incident, reported on and challenged by local officials and journalists, leads to confusion, with nobody knowing exactly who saved whom.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Jan. 2, 4 p.m.


Risk of Acid Rain

Directed by Behtash Sanaeeha

(Iran, 2015, 105 min.)

Contemporary Iranian poet Shams Langeroodi plays recently retired worker Manoochehr. Left with few friends and an ailing mother, Manoochehr feels aimless and out of balance, so he resumes his former routine. Then, one day, he decides to try to find an old friend in Tehran.

National Gallery of Art

Sun., Jan. 3, 4 p.m.



Directed by Rakhshan Bani-E’temad

(Iran, 2014, 88 min.)

Retrospective in scope, “Tales” weaves together a series of short films (which are subject to less scrutiny from Iranian authorities than their full-length counterparts are) featuring a number of characters from Rakhshan Bani-E’temad’s previous work. The stories offer a surprisingly candid look at problems ranging from Iran’s corrupt bureaucracy to single motherhood to drug addiction and the AIDS crisis.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Jan. 2, 2 p.m.



I’m Going Home

(Je rentre a la maison)

Directed by Manoel de Oliveira

(France/Portugal, 2001, 90 min.)

The comfortable daily routines of aging Parisian actor Gilbert Valence, 76, are suddenly shaken when he learns that his wife, daughter and son-in-law have been killed in a car crash. Having to take care of his now-orphaned grandson, he struggles to go on with his lifelong acting career like he’s used to (French and English).

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Dec. 26, 4 p.m.


Quar des Orfevres

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

(France, 1947, 106 min.)

When a lecherous old moneybags turns up dead, the showgirl he was pursuing, Jenny Lamour, becomes the prime suspect. But crafty Inspector Antoine wants to take a closer look at Jenny’s associates in and out of showbiz, including jealous husband Maurice and her photographer gal pal Dora.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 20, 11:30 a.m.



The President

Directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

(Georgia/France/U.K./Germany, 2014, 115 min.)

Inspired by the Arab Spring, this satirical, suspenseful contemporary allegory is set in an unnamed country. When a rebellion topples his administration, the cruel titular leader goes on the run in disguise with his young grandson. Forced to beg for food and shelter, the undercover despot learns just how loathed he is.

National Gallery of Art

Sun., Jan. 17, 4 p.m.



Son of Saul

(Saul fia)

Directed by László Nemes

(Hungary, 2015, 107 min.)

In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son (Hungarian, Yiddish, German and Polish).

Area theaters

Opens Fri., Jan. 15


The Wonders

(Le meraviglie)

Directed by Alice Rohrwacher

(Italy/Switzerland/Germany, 2015, 112 min.)

A family of beekeepers living in stark isolation in the Tuscan countryside finds the dynamic of their overcrowded household disrupted by the simultaneous arrival of a silently troubled German teenaged boy taken in as a farmhand and a reality TV show intent on showcasing the family (Italian, French and German).

Landmark’s E Street Cinema