Home The Washington Diplomat December 2017 Films – December 2017

Films – December 2017

























Directed by Ingmar Trost
(Bulgaria/Germany, 2017, 82 min.)

Two talented siblings struggle with the idea of being separated while their astrophysicist father seems incapable of dealing with his children’s anxieties (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Dec. 2 to 6



Angels of the Lord 2
Directed by Jirí Strach

(Czech Republic, 2016, 99 min.)

A record-breaking smash in the Czech Republic, this is the sequel to the popular Czech fairytale about the angel Petronel who works at Heaven’s door, but is convinced that he deserves a better job.

The Avalon Theatre
Wed., Dec. 13, 8 p.m.

Ice Mother
Directed by Bohdan Sláma
(Czech Republic/Slovakia/France, 2017, 106 min.)

Hanna, a 67-year-old widow, finds new love — and a new hobby — as part of an ice-swimming team (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 9, 11:05 a.m.,
Mon., Dec. 11, 5:15 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 12, 5:15 p.m.


You Disappear
Directed by Peter Schønau Fog
(Denmark/Sweden, 2017, 117 min.)

The increasingly erratic behavior of school principal Frederik and the stress caused to his wife and teenage son is explained when a brain scan reveals a tumor causing orbitofrontal syndrome. But can this condition explain the $2 million he’s accused of embezzling from the school? (Danish and Swedish; part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 3, 3:30 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 7, 9 p.m.


Big Sonia
Directed by Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday
(U.S., 2016, 93 min.)

Sonia Warshawski can barely see over the leopard-skin-patterned steering wheel of her Oldsmobile. But at age 90, Sonia has a personality that towers over her community, where she has tirelessly run her late husband’s tailoring business for decades. She is one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors in Kansas City and has, for years, been speaking at schools, church groups and prisons — dispensing positive life lessons (known as “Soniaisms”) to anyone and everyone in her path.

Edlavitch DCJCC
Tue., Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m.

The Breadwinner
Directed by Nora Twomey
(Ireland/Canada/Luxembourg, 2017, 93 min.)

This animated film tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the harsh rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. With her family facing starvation, Parvana cuts her hair and dresses as a boy to go out and look for work, risking discovery to try to find out if her father is still alive.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Call Me By Your Name
Directed by Luca Guadagnino
(Italy/France/Brazil/U.S., 2017, 132 min.)

In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father’s research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape (English, Italian, French and German).

Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., Dec. 15

Directed by Nico Mensinga
(U.K., 2017, 87 min.)

Thirty-one-year-old Daphne is unable to shake off the dregs of a quarter-life crisis, caught up in the oscillating monotony and unpredictability of daily life. When she witnesses a stabbing, Daphne must admit that she needs to make a change (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 15, 7:15 p.m.,
Mon., Dec. 18, 9:30 p.m.

Darkest Hour

Directed by Joe Wright
(U.K., 2017, 125 min.)

During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.

Angelika Mosaic
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Opens Fri., Dec. 8

God’s Own Country

Directed by Francis Lee
(U.K., 2017, 104 min.)

In rural Yorkshire, isolated young sheep farmer Johnny numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema


Directed by Brett Morgen
(U.S., 2017, 90 min.)

Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years, award-winning director Brett Morgen tells the story of British primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.

West End Cinema

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
(U.K./Ireland, 2017, 116 min.)

Dr. Steven Murphy is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife and their two exemplary children. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin, a fatherless teen who Steven has covertly taken under his wing. As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family’s life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Last Flag Flying

Directed by Richard Linklater
(U.S., 2017, 124 min.)

Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry “Doc” Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.

Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema

Loving Vincent

Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman
(U.K./Poland, 2017, 94 min.)

In a story depicted in oil-painted animation, a young man comes to the last hometown of painter Vincent van Gogh to deliver the troubled artist’s last letter and ends up investigating his final days there.

West End Cinema

The Man Who Invented Christmas

Directed by Bharat Nalluri
(Ireland/Canada, 2017)

This film shows how Charles Dickens mixed real-life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up the timeless tale of “A Christmas Carol.”

Angelica Mosaic
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Murder on the Orient Express

Directed by Kenneth Branagh
(Malta/U.S., 2017)

A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish and suspenseful mystery in this story based on the Agatha Christie novel that follows 13 stranded strangers and one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.

Angelika Mosaic
Angelika Pop-Up
Atlantic Plumbing Cinema
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema

Pin Cushion

Directed by Deborah Haywood
(U.K., 2017, 83 min.)

Awkward teen Iona and her eccentric mother Lyn arrive in a new town and get off to a rough start. Lyn feels increasingly isolated as Iona falls in with the cool clique at her new school (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 10, 4 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 14, 9:20 p.m.

Sea Sorrow

Directed by Vanessa Redgrave
(U.K., 2017, 74 min.)

Celebrated actress Vanessa Redgrave makes her directorial debut with this moving documentary, an impassioned plea for compassion and common-sense policy in the face of the ongoing European migrant crisis (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 16, 4 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 19, 7:20 p.m.

The Shape of Water

Directed by Guillermo del Toro
(U.S., 2017, 123 min.)

This otherworldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962, takes place in the hidden high-security government laboratory where lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment.

Angelika Mosaic
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Opens Fri., Dec. 8

The Square

Directed by Ruben Östlund
(Sweden/Germany/France/Denmark, 2017, 142 min.)

Christian is the handsome, sophisticated and somewhat smug curator of a contemporary art museum. His next show is “The Square,” an installation that invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes it is difficult to live up to your own ideals: Christian’s foolish over-reaction to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations (English, Swedish and Danish).

West End Cinema

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Directed by Martin McDonagh
(U.K./U.S., 2017, 115 min.)

In this darkly comic drama, a mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder, when they fail to catch the culprit.

AFI Silver Theatre
Angelika Mosaic
The Avalon Theatre
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Victoria and Abdul

Directed by Stephen Frears
(U.K./U.S., 2017, 112 min.)

Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy.

Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema

Zuzana: Music Is Life

Directed by Harriet Getzels and Peter Getzels
(Czech Republic/U.S., 2017, 83 min.)

Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Ruzickova is the only musician to have recorded the complete keyboard works of Bach. Even while staying in Nazi camps and living under communism, the now ninety-year-old Zuzana never abandoned her work.

National Gallery of Art
Sat., Dec. 16, 12 p.m.



Law of the Land
Directed by Jussi Hiltunen
(Finland/Norway, 2017, 90 min.)

In a remote Finnish village in Lapland, just across the Swedish border, a retiring police officer learns that his illegitimate son has been released from prison and is terrorizing the area (Finnish and Swedish; part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 10, 9:45 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 13, 9:30 p.m.

The Other Side of Hope

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
(Finland/Germany, 2017, 100 min.)

Middle-age shirt salesman Wikström abruptly leaves his prickly wife and unfulfilling job and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant, which he tries to turn into a success with a hilarious series of culinary re-inventions. After displaced Syrian Khaled is denied asylum, he decides not to return to Aleppo, staying on illegally in Helsinki — and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously, with unexpected results (Finnish, Arabic, English and Swedish).

Landmark’s Cinema
Opens Fri., Dec. 8

Tom of Finland

Directed by Dome Karukoski
(Multiple countries, 2017, 115 min.)

This stirring biopic follows the life of the artist Touko Laaksonen, known to the world as Tom of Finland, whose proudly erotic drawings shaped the fantasies of a generation of gay men, influencing art and fashion before crossing over into the wider cultural consciousness (Finnish, German and English).

Landmark’s Cinema
Opens Fri., Dec. 8



Directed by Laura Schroeder
(Luxembourg/Belgium/France, 2017, 112 min.)

Isabelle Huppert and her real-life daughter star in this intelligent drama about family, motherhood and three generations of women trying to reconnect (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 10, 11:05 a.m.,
Mon., Dec. 11, 9:30 p.m.


Directed by Xavier Legrand
(France, 2017, 93 min.)

Filmmaker Xavier Legrand won Best Director and the Silver Lion at the 2017 Venice Film Festival for this precisely observed portrait of a broken family and the impending threat posed by an obsessive ex-husband (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 16, 2 p.m.,
Mon., Dec. 18, 7:20 p.m.

Faces Places

(Visages Villages)
Directed by Agnès Varda
(France, 2017, 90 min.)

Agnès Varda’s most recent feature is a witty portrait of France and a friendship and, in Varda fashion, a madcap mission. Varda teams up with installation-and-graffiti artist JR, forming an unlikely duo that travels to pastoral hamlets and secluded spots, meeting local workers, shooting outsized portraits, and plastering these images on the sides of buildings.

National Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 3, 4 p.m.

Let the Sunshine In

Directed by Claire Denis
(France/Belgium, 2017, 94 min.)

Writer/director Claire Denis turns rom-com conventions inside out with this portrait of artist and divorcée Isabelle (Juliette Binoche), who juggles a succession of lovers (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 2, 8:30 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 7, 7 p.m.

Lover for a Day

Directed by Philippe Garrel
(France, 2017, 76 min.)

After a bad breakup, Jeanne moves in with her father, Gilles, a professor who has begun a relationship with one of his students, Ariane, who at 23 is the same age as Jeanne. Initially an awkward situation for the three, in time Jeanne and Ariane form a fine friendship (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 10, 8 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 12, 9:30 p.m.


Directed by Bertrand Bonello
(France/Germany/Belgium, 2016, 130 min.)

Bertrand Bonello’s provocative, slightly surreal portrait of contemporary terrorism depicts a cell of suburban teenagers, students and shop workers as the perpetrators of a coordinated bombing attack across Paris. Their motive? Unclear. Their escape plan? To hide all night in the luxury department store La Samaritaine (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 9, 10:10 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 14, 9 p.m.

Racer and the Jailbird

Directed by Michaël R. Roskam
(Belgium/Netherlands/France, 2017, 130 min.)

When Gino lays eyes on racecar driver Bénédicte, it’s love at first sight, and nothing will keep them apart. But when Gino finally reveals his darkest secret to his beloved, can this fiery romance last? (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 16, 9:15 p.m.,
Mon., Dec. 18, 7 p.m.

The Workshop

Directed by Laurent Cantet
(France, 2017, 113 min.)

Mystery novelist Olivia Dejazet leads a summer writing workshop for students from the working-class town of La Ciotat in southern France, where the most promising writer in the group is also the most controversial, owing to his needling of other students’ viewpoints, his affinity for certain right-wing views and his deeply disturbing but rivetingly well-written short story about a mass shooter (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 10, 1:30 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 13, 9:20 p.m.


The Divine Order
Directed by Petra Volpe
(Switzerland, 2017, 96 min.)

Doing laundry, vacuuming, cooking and caring for her husband and two sons. That’s the submissive routine that Nora, a 45-year-old housewife from a Swiss village in the early ’70s, is stuck in. But when her husband refuses to allow her to work — a privilege granted to him by Swiss law — the quiet and well-liked Nora starts campaigning for equality and the right to vote.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Dec. 1

Tiger Girl

Directed by Jakob Lass
(Germany, 2017, 90 min.)

Vanilla is looking at a career in law enforcement. After failing the police exam, she signs up as a security guard while waiting to take the test again, and in the interim meets Tiger, a wild child who appeals to Vanilla’s sense of adventure (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 10, 6 p.m.

Wild Mouse

Directed by Josef Hader
(Austria/Germany, 2017, 103 min.)

A music critic in midlife crisis seeks revenge on the boss who fired him in this satirical seriocomedy (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 16, 6:45 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 20, 9:10 p.m.


Directed by Stergios Paschos
(Greece, 2016, 94 min.)

In this spritely directorial debut, 30-year-old Nikos convinces his ex-girlfriend Sofia to come spend a week with him at his pal’s lavish home a year after breaking up. But his motives are far from pure (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., Dec. 11, 9:15 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 13, 5:15 p.m.

Boy on the Bridge

Directed by Petros Charalambous
(Cyprus, 2016, 85 min.)

Twelve-year-old Socrates spends the summer days of 1988 hurtling through the streets of his sleepy mountain village on his bicycle, setting off homemade firecrackers and tormenting the local residents. Socrates’s carefree life comes to an abrupt end when he discovers that his best friend Marcos and his family are suffering abuse at the hands of Marcos’s violent father (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., Dec. 11, 7:20 p.m.,
Thu., Dec. 14, 5:15 p.m.


On Body and Soul
Directed by Ildikó Enyedi
(Hungary, 2017, 116 min.)

In a Budapest slaughterhouse. Mária, the new quality controller, has an exacting eye for perfection that has not won her any popularity points. Endre, the financial controller, is a quiet man with his own problems. When the pair discover that they share the same dream — literally — the century’s strangest romance begins to unfold (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 9, 7:45 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 12, 7:10 p.m.


A Ciambra
Directed by Jonas Carpignano
(Multiple countries, 2017, 118 min.)

Pio, 14, is already adept at surviving on the streets of his tough Calabria hometown — he drinks, he smokes, he knows how to be a good lookout — but when his older brother and father are rounded up by the police, Pio sets out to prove he’s ready to fend for his family (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 8, 9:30 p.m.,
Mon., Dec. 11, 7:10 p.m.

Naples ’44

Directed by Francesco Patierno
(Italy, 2016, 80 min.)

Working from a wealth of archival footage and carefully selected fiction films, Italian documentarian Francesco Patierno adapts British travel writer/novelist Norman Lewis’s celebrated World War II memoir for the big screen (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Dec. 15 to 20

Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle

Directed by Mike van Diem
(Netherlands, 2017, 90 min.)

When Anna travels from Montreal to scatter her step-mother’s ashes in her Italian hometown, she meets an old family friend who helps Anna fill in the blanks about her father (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 17, 3:15 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 20, 7:10 p.m.


Tokyo Story
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu
(Japan, 1953, 137 min.)

A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, “Tokyo Story” follows an aging couple’s journey to visit their grown children in bustling postwar Tokyo, surveying the rich and complex world of family life with the director’s customary delicacy and incisive perspective on social mores.

Freer Gallery of Art
Wed., Dec. 6, 2 p.m.


The Day After
Directed by Hong Sang-soo
(South Korea, 2017, 92 min.)

When Areum starts her job as an assistant to publisher Bongwan, his wife immediately accuses her of having an affair with him. In fact, Bongwan recently broke off an affair with Areum’s predecessor and seems to be grooming her as his next conquest.

Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 3, 1 p.m.

Fabricated City

Directed by Park Kwang-hyun
(South Korea, 2017, 126 min.)

A paranoid thriller with a high-tech edge, Park Kwang-hyun’s latest film pits a team of skilled video gamers against a mysterious underworld organization in a battle that rages through both the physical and digital worlds.

Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Dec. 1, 7 p.m.

On the Beat at Night Alone

Directed by Hong Sang-soo
(South Korea, 2017, 101 min.)

A famous actress grapples with the end of her affair with an older, married film director during a self-imposed exile in Hamburg and then with the help of hard-drinking friends back home.

Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 3, 3 p.m.


Mellow Mud
Directed by Renars Vimba
(Latvia, 2016, 106 min.)

After their father dies, 17-year-old Raya and her younger brother must move into the ramshackle farmhouse of their grouchy grandmother. When the old lady suddenly dies, Raya must grow up quickly to run the household and keep social services in the dark about her guardian’s demise (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 17, 1:05 p.m.,
Wed., Dec. 20, 7:20 p.m.


We the Workers
Directed by Wen Hai
(Hong Kong/China, 2017, 174 min.)

Shot over a six-year period in the industrial hub of south China, this unprecedented look at China’s world of labor organizers follows activists as they find common ground with workers and negotiate with local officials and factory owners over wages and working conditions.

Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Dec. 17, 1 p.m.


Directed by Joachim Trier
(Norway/France/Denmark/Sweden, 2017, 116 min.)

Timid, lonely and devout Thelma, raised in a small rural town by over-protective parents, has left to study at a university in Oslo. While there, she finds herself intensely drawn toward a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. Soon after, however, Thelma has a frightening and mysterious seizure. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

West End Cinema
Opens Fri., Dec. 1


Directed by Agnieszka Holland
(Poland/Germany/Czech Republic/Sweden/Slovakia, 2017, 128 min.)

Part-time teacher and full-time vegetarian Janina lives alone in the Klodzko Valley on the Polish-Czech border with her two beloved dogs. When her pets vanish and a series of mysterious killings leaves a trail of murdered local hunters, Janina is convinced that she knows who — or what — is responsible (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 2, 1 p.m.,
Mon., Dec. 4, 7 p.m.


Ana, Mon Amour
Directed by Cãlin Peter Netzer
(Romania/Germany/France, 2017, 127 min.)

Examining a tumultuous relationship between Toma and Ana after they meet as students, Cãlin Peter Netzer traces the shifting power dynamic of the pair as Ana tries to conquer the debilitating anxiety attacks that have plagued her from the outset of their romance (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Dec. 16, 11:20 a.m..,
Tue., Dec. 19, 7 p.m.


A Gentle Creature
Directed by Sergei Loznitsa
(France/Germany/Netherlands/Lithuania, 2017, 143 min.)

A woman receives the care package she has sent to her imprisoned husband, marked “return to sender.” Her efforts to get an explanation and information about her husband lead her into a hell populated by Kafkaesque civil servants, opportunistic exploiters of misery and peddlers of vice (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 17, 4:20 p.m.


The Miner
Directed by Hanna Slak
(Slovenia/Croatia, 2017, 98 min.)

Since leaving Bosnia in the 1970s, Alija has been working as a miner in Slovenia’s Zasavje coal region. One of many migrant workers employed in a failing industry, Alija is afraid to refuse when he is tasked with opening a long-sealed mineshaft to declare it empty. When he opens the abandoned shaft, however, Alija uncovers some terrible secrets (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Dec. 17, 9:45 p.m.,
Tue., Dec. 19, 9:30 p.m.


Directed by Jens Assur
(Sweden, 2017, 100 min.)

Jens Assur’s bleakly beautiful rural drama, set in the 1970s, focuses on a struggling farmer who desperately wants to pass the family farm on to his uninterested son, unable to admit to himself that it has been a source of misery for him and his family for generations (part of the European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Dec. 15, 9:15 p.m.,
Sat., Dec. 16, 4:20 p.m.