August 2015

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Cover Story

Libya's Wafa Bugaighis:
'We Desperately Need Help'

a6.cover.libya.flag.homeWafa Bugaighis was there when Libya's 42-year dictatorship began to unravel. Now, Libya's highest-ranking diplomat in the U.S. is begging the international community to help keep her fractured country from coming apart at the seams. Read More 

People of World Influence

Afghanistan Expert Says Corruption
Breeds Violence, Steals Stability

a1.powi.chayes.homeAs a small business owner who lived among the Afghan people for nearly a decade, Sarah Chayes saw not only the dangers of a war zone but also the daily indignation of corruption, which she blames for fueling those dangers. Read More

Bitter Anniversary

South Sudan's New Ambassador Vows
Young Nation Can Overcome Fighting

a2.south.sudan.akuong.homeSouth Sudan recently toasted the fourth anniversary of its independence, but its people have little reason to celebrate as a fresh conflict threatens to unravel the world's newest nation. Read More

Unapologetic Watchdog

Afghanistan Watchdog Agency: Critical
Oversight or Overzealous Hounding?

a3.sigar.bunker.homeJohn Sopko is unapologetic in his quest to keep track of every American dollar spent — or misspent — trying to rebuild Afghanistan. Read More

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Pacific Trade Deal Chugs Along,
Inspiring Hope, Hostility, Questions recent hiccups on the Hill, the White House took a major step in advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the most sweeping and controversial trade deal since NAFTA. Read More

Swiss Apprenticeships

U.S. Considers Emulating
Swiss Apprenticeship Model United States is eyeing Switzerland's model of apprenticeships to help its young workers compete in a globalized economy. Read More

Digital Diplomacy Forum

With New Ambassador at Helm,
Swiss Embassy Ups Its Digital Game Swiss Embassy took advantage of the transition to a new ambassador to up its social media presence. Read More

Book Review

Latest JFK Tome Offers
Vivid Portrayal of 1960 Race"Norman Mailer. JFK. Superman Comes to the Supermarket" is a lavish account of one of the most riveting political events of the 20th century: The 1960 presidential race between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Read More


Afghanistan Expert Says Corruption Breeds Violence, Steals Stability

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By Michael Coleman

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South Sudan’s New Ambassador Vows Young Nation Can Overcome Fighting

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By Karin Zeitvogel

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Afghanistan Watchdog Agency: Critical Oversight or Overzealous Hounding?

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By Sean Lyngaas

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Pacific Trade Deal Chugs Along, Inspiring Hope, Hostility, Questions

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By Karin Sun

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U.S. Considers Emulating Swiss Apprenticeship Model

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By Larry Luxner

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Libya’s Wafa Bugaighis: ‘We Desperately Need Help’

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By Larry Luxner

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With New Ambassador at Helm, Swiss Embassy Ups Its Digital Game

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By Molly McCluskey

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Latest JFK Tome Offers Vivid Portrayal of 1960 Race

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By John Shaw

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Time to Turn Lights Out And Get Good Night’s Sleep

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By Gina Shaw

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Exiled Shirin Neshat Offers Compelling Insights Into Homeland

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By Lauren Hodges

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An American Icon, Kennedy Center Thrives on International Exchange

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

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Caillebotte and Wtewael Exhibits Reveal Unsung Talent

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By Gary Tischler

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‘Organic Matters’ Bucks Historical Assumptions About Nature and Women

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By Kate Oczypok and Anna Gawel

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Expanding Project Offers Map of D.C.’s Literary Stars

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By Lauren Hodges

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Fig & Olive, Mango Tree Inject Welcome Flair to Washington

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By Michael Coleman

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‘Best of Enemies’ Marks Birth, Bad Blood of Today’s Political Pundits

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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‘Look of Silence’ Delves Into Deaths Behind ‘The Act of Killing’

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By Ky N. Nguyen

Early during the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, The Washington Diplomat had the pleasure of engaging in a lengthy one-on-one discussion with American writer-director Joshua Oppenheimer, a rising star. We met at the Omni Hotel, a calm oasis in the midst of the chaotic SXSW crowds invading downtown Austin. Friendly and chatty, the Texas native provided intelligent, comprehensive insights into his most recent documentary, "The Look of Silence," considered to be a companion piece to "The Act of Killing," his earlier hybrid doc.

Photo: Daniel Bergeron
Joshua Oppenheimer followed up his documentary "The Act of Killing" with "The Look of Silence," which focuses on the victims of Indonesia's anti-communist purge.

The latter's success enabled Oppenheimer to imprint his mark on discerning viewers on the international film festival circuit and in art houses around the world. "The Act of Killing" relates a "true tale" about the Indonesian death squads that swept the country prior to the installation of longtime military dictator Suharto, committing brutal atrocities that purged Suharto's communist political opponents and terrorized widespread swaths of the population.

Oppenheimer's unorthodox and unforgettable documentary challenged these former death squad leaders to re-enact their mass killings in their favorite cinematic genre, including classic Hollywood gangster scenes. The filmmaker staged the death squad veterans' confessions to their crimes against the backdrop of lavish musical routines, as in opera. Using their own words, the real-life killers themselves performed the song-and-dance numbers, an astonishing sight to behold. "The scene is so artificial that it becomes hyper-realistic," remarked the innovative helmer about his unique blend of reality and fantasy.

Oppenheimer didn't have to dig deep to convince the aging assassins to speak openly about their roles in Indonesia's violent history. Many proudly recounted their part in the U.S.-backed purge and even today are celebrated as national heroes.

"They can walk around with impunity. They even boast about their actions, of which they are very proud," the director said. "I had already lived in Indonesia for years and got to know my way around. I found a highly connected guy who wanted to talk plenty about what he'd done in the past. He introduced me to other powerful men, all from military backgrounds. I worked my way up the food chain."

For "The Look of Silence," however, Oppenheimer switches his focus from the killers to the victims, following the efforts of an optometrist to confront the men who killed his brother during the 1965-66 mass slaughter.

Photo: Drafthouse Films and Participant Media
Adi is an optometrist who seeks to confront the death squad leaders responsible for his brother's death during the 1965 Indonesian genocides in "The Look of Silence."

"I don't consider 'The Look of Silence' to be a sequel or even a follow-up to 'The Act of Killing,'" Oppenheimer explained. "I view them as two parts of the same story. In fact, 'The Look of Silence' was the movie I had originally planned to make. I wanted to tell the stories of survivors of the reign of terror and their families. But the military placed widespread pressure on everybody not to talk.

"I turned my attention to the killers, who were eventually willing to talk on camera, to make 'The Act of Killing,'" Oppenheimer continued. "By the time I completed the shoot, I was known to be close to the men who ran the country. At times, I embellished that reputation by putting spin on it.

"At that point, everybody assumed I had the blessing of the ruling class. Nobody got in my way when I went back to talk to the survivors, allowing me to shoot 'The Look of Silence' without hindrance."

But the killings mark a dark chapter in history that many Indonesians, including the government, aren't eager to revisit. The communist purge still enjoys widespread public support and Oppenheimer has not exactly been hailed as a hero in Indonesia for resurrecting the country's past. He was only able to finish filming "The Look of Silence" because "The Act of Killing" hadn't yet been released.

"Its production closed before 'The Act of Killing' had public screenings," he said. "Now everybody hates me. It's too dangerous for me to return to the country."

"The Look of Silence" is now playing at Landmark's E Street Cinema.

Ky N. Nguyen is the film reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.


Films - August 2015

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By Cari











Directed by Heiward Mak

(Hong Kong/China, 2012, 101 min.)

Set in the Hong Kong pop music world, "Diva" stars real-life pop star Joey Yung as a singer who loses her voice in the midst of a concert. While she lays low on the mainland, striking up a relationship with a blind masseur, her fast-talking manager casts his eye on a talented young singer to take her place (Cantonese and Mandarin; director in person).

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Aug. 16, 3 p.m.


Full Throttle

(Lie huo zhan che)

Directed by Derek Yee

(Hong Kong, 1995, 108 min.)

This fast-paced action movie stars Andy Lau as Joe, who rides his motorcycle in illegal street races. Joe befriends a professional racer sponsored by his estranged father, which spurs a familial rivalry with high-speed stakes.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Aug. 2, 2 p.m.


Gangster Payday

(Da cha fan)

Directed by Lee Po-cheung

(Hong Kong, 2014, 97 min.)

Anthony Wong gives a terrific performance as an aging mob boss who helps a feisty young restaurateur stand up to greedy property developers.

Freer Gallery of Art

Fri., Aug. 7, 7 p.m.


The Long Arm of the Law

Directed by Johnny Mak

(Hong Kong, 1984, 100 min.)

Presented in a rare 35mm print, Johnny Mak's directorial debut is a seminal film that established the Hong Kong gangster movie genre. Lam Wai plays Tung, the leader of a gang of former soldiers living on the edge of poverty in mainland China who hatch a plot to rob a Hong Kong jewelry store and return to China with their spoils.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Aug. 9, 2 p.m.




Directed by Ondrej Sokol

(Czech Republic, 2014, 119 min.)

Childhood friends Michal and Adam return after 20 years to their rural hometown to investigate the mysterious death of Michal's mother in this dark Czech comedy.

The Avalon Theatre

Wed., Aug. 12, 8 p.m.



Directed by Anatole Litvak
(U.S., 1956, 105 min.)

In 1920s Paris, a suicidal amnesiac, Anna is saved from drowning by exiled White Russian General Bounine. Noting Anna’s resemblance to the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna — rumored to have escaped her family’s execution and fled Russia — Bounine and his cohorts coach Anna/Anastasia into believing she is in fact the missing heir.

AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Aug. 23, 12:45 p.m.

Best of Enemies

Directed by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville
(U.S., 2015, 88 min.)

This documentary delves into the legendary series of nationally televised debates in 1968 between two great public intellectuals, the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Aug. 7

Dark Places

Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner
(France/U.K./U.S., 2015, 113 min.)

Libby Day was only 7 years old when her family was brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Twenty-five years later, she agrees to revisit the crime and uncovers the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night.

Angelika Pop-Up
Opens Fri., Aug. 7


Directed by Paul Weitz
(U.S., 2015, 79 min.)

Self-described misanthrope Elle has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage, shows up needing help. The two of them go on a daylong journey that causes Elle to come to terms with her past and Sage to confront her future.

Angelika Mosaic
Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Aug. 28

Hitman: Agent 47

Directed by Aleksander Bach
(U.S./Germany, 2015, 108 min.)

A genetically engineered assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.

Theater TBA
Opens Fri., Aug. 21

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Directed by Steven Spielberg
(U.S., 1984, 118 min.)

After a bravura action sequence that begins in a Shanghai nightclub that sees him jumping out of a plane over the Himalayas, archeologist Indiana Jones ends up confronting an Indian death cult that has enslaved village children.

AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Aug. 14, 9:30 p.m.

Joan of Arc

Directed by Victor Fleming
(U.S., 1948, 145 min.)

Ingrid Bergman brings a fiery conviction to her portrayal of the Maid of Orleans.

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Aug. 29, 1:20 p.m.

Journey to Italy

(Viaggio in Italia)

Directed by Roberto Rossellini
(Italy/France, 1954, 97 min.)

British couple Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders see their already strained marriage come undone by mutual recriminations on a trip to Naples, but after threatening each other with divorce and separating for most of the trip, the two are surprised to find their union rekindled and their spirits moved by a visit to the ruins of Pompeii.

AFI Silver Theatre
Aug. 15 to 19

Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet

Directed by Roger Allers
(U.S./France/Canada/Lebanon/Qatar, 2014, 84 min.)

Celebrated Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran’s timeless verses, among the most popular volumes of poetry ever written, have been given enchanting new form in this painterly animated cinematic adventure about freedom and the power of human expression.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Aug. 21

A LEGO Brickumentary

Directed by Klef Davidson and Daniel Junge
(U.S./Denmark, 2014, 92 min.)

This documentary looks at the global culture and appeal of the LEGO building-block toys, asking the fundamental question: Is it a toy or something more?

AFI Silver Theatre
Angelika Pop-Up

Listen to Me Marlon

Directed by Stevan Riley
(U.K., 2015, 95 min.)

With exclusive access to his extraordinary unseen and unheard personal archive including hundreds of hours of audio recorded over the course of his life, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Aug. 14

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Directed by Guy Ritchie
(U.S., 2015, 116 min.)

In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

Theater TBA
Opens Fri., Aug. 14


Directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
(India/U.S., 2015, 87 min.)

Three elite climbers struggle to find their way through obsession and loss as they attempt to climb Mount Meru, one of the most coveted prizes in the high stakes game of Himalayan big wall climbing.

Angelika Pop-Up
Opens Fri., Aug. 28

Midnight in Paris

Directed by Woody Allen
(Spain/U.S./France, 2011, 94 min.)

While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Fri., Aug. 7, midnight

No Escape

Directed by John Erick Dowdle
(U.S., 2015, 103 min.)

In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.

Theater TBA
Opens Wed., Aug. 26


Directed by Christian Petzold
(Germany/Poland, 2015, 98 min.)

A disfigured concentration-camp survivor, unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband who might have betrayed her to the Nazis (English and German).

Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Aug. 7

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Directed by Steven Spielberg
(U.S., 1981, 115 min.)

This a rip-roaring, action-packed yarn breathlessly careens from steamy South American jungle to snowy Nepalese mountaintop to dusty Egyptian desert — with the intrepid and wily adventurer/archaeologist Indiana Jones battling ruthless Nazis to be the first to discover an ancient and possibly magical relic.

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m.

Shaun the Sheep Movie

Directed by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
(U.K./France, 2015, 85 min.)

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

Theater TBA
Opens Wed., Aug. 5


Directed by Roberto Rossellini
(Italy/U.S., 1950, 107 min.)

In Roberto Rossellini’s neorealist classic, Ingrid Bergman plays a refugee and war bride who made a hasty marriage with an Italian POW to escape from a hellish internment camp [in English and Italian; screens with “Bergman and Magnani: The War of the Volcanoes (La Guerra dei vulcani)” (Italy, 2012, 52 min.)].

AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Aug. 8, 3 p.m.

That Sugar Food

Directed by Damon Gameau
(Australia, 2015, 90 min.)

In one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar, Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as “healthy.”

Angelika Pop-Up

Three Kings

Directed by David O’Russell
(U.S., 1999, 114 min.)

Spring of 1991: Having removed a treasure map from an Iraqi POW in Kuwait, a motley crew of Army personnel use the momentary disruption of Saddam Hussein’s authority to breeze into Iraq and collect a secret stash of gold bullion.

AFI Silver Theatre
Tue., Aug. 18, 7 p.m.,
Thu., Aug. 20, 9:20 p.m.


Directed by Juan José Campanella
(Spain/Argentina, 2015, 102 min.)

A young man named Amadeo sets off on an unexpected adventure with the players of his beloved Foosball game in this animated film.

Theater TBA
Opens Fri., Aug. 14

We Are Your Friends

Directed by Max Joseph
(U.K./France/U.S., 2015)

An aspiring DJ looks to make it in the electronic music scene.

Theater TBA
Opens Fri., Aug. 28

We Come as Friends

Directed by Hubert Sauper
(France/Austria, 2015, 110 min.)

At the moment when Sudan, the continent’s biggest country, is being divided into two nations, an old “civilizing” ideology re-emerges — one of colonialism and a clash of empires — with new episodes of bloody (and holy) wars over land and resources (English, Chinese and Arabic).

AFI Silver Theatre
Opens Fri., Aug. 21


Directed by John Boorman
(Ireland, 1974, 105 min.)

In the distant future, a savage trained only to kill finds a way into the community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity's achievements (English, Italian, Swedish, Latin, German and French).

Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Fri., Aug. 14, midnight



Elena and Her Men aka Paris Does Strange Things

(Elena et les hommes)

Directed by Jean Renoir

(Italy/France, 1956, 98 min.)

In fin de siècle Paris, penniless Polish princess Elena Sokorowska makes a good marriage with the Count Henri de Chevincourt (Mel Ferrer), but continues to follow where her passion leads her, in this case dashing, ambitious General François Rollan.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Aug. 22, 3 p.m.


Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor

Directed by Thomas Lilti

(France, 2015, 102 min.)

A baby-faced intern begins work at a busy Parisian hospital, confronted with his own limits and fears, as well as those of his patients and fellow staff.

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Opens Fri., Aug. 7


Tom at the Farm

(Tom à la ferme)

Directed by Xavier Dolan

(Canada/France, 2015, 102 min.)

A grieving man meets his lover's family, who were not aware of their son's sexual orientation.

Angelika Pop-Up

Opens Fri., Aug. 14



Coming In

Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner

(Germany, 2014, 104 min.)

When notoriously hip celebrity hair dresser Tom Herzner plans his first hair-product line, he is forced to work incognito at a hair salon-cum-barber-shop somewhere in an edgy Berlin neighborhood run by the sassy, gut-honest Heidi, with whom he falls in love. But there's one problem: Tom is gay.


Mon., Aug. 31, 6:30 p.m.


Fack ju Göhte

Directed by Bora Dagtekin

(Germany, 2013, 118 min.)

Set against the smugness in German teachers' lounges, "Fack ju Göhte" tells the story of swamped teachers and disturbed pupils, adding spice to this school comedy with crude dialogue.


Mon., Aug. 24, 6:30 p.m.



The Look of Silence
Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
(Denmark/Finland/Indonesia/Norway/U.K., 2015, 103 min.)

An optometrist confronts the men who killed his brother during Indonesia's anti-communist purge and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions.

Landmark's E Street Cinema



Le Amiche

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

(Italy, 1955, 100 min.)

Returning to her native Turin to open a salon on the heels of her big Roman success, fashion stylist Eleonora Rossi Drago painfully tries to bond with the local au courant crowd.

National Gallery of Art

Sun., Aug. 9, 4p.m.


Il Bidone

Directed by Federico Fellini

(Italy/France, 1955, 104 min.)

A trio of con artists subsists by playing tricks on the gullible poor, disguising themselves to fit the mood of each put-up escapade.

National Gallery of Art

Sun., Aug. 23, 4 p.m.


The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

(L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo)

Directed by Dario Argento

(Italy/W. Germany, 1970, 96 min.)

An American writer in Rome witnesses an attack inside an art gallery while he's trapped in a glass foyer, recounting the lurid incident over and over inside his head until, after other events ensue, his recollection of the original crime is called into question.

National Gallery of Art

Sun., Aug. 30, 4 p.m.


The Days Are Numbered

(I giorni contati)

Directed by Elio Petri

(Italy, 1962, 100 min.)

An aging tradesman observes a man his own age keel over on a Roman tram, an event that awakens a sense that he needs to change his life in this modernist take on a working-class life in crisis.

National Gallery of Art

Sun., Aug. 16, 4 p.m.


Days of Glory

(Giorni di gloria)

Multiple directors

(Italy/Switzerland, 1945, 71 min.)

The first documentary on the German occupation of Rome and Italian resistance in the waning years of World War II was shot over two years covering the trial of Fascist police chief Pietro Caruso, who organized the Ardeatine massacre of 300 Italian prisoners as reprisal for a partisan attack.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Aug. 15, 1 p.m.


Europe '51 aka The Greatest Love

(Europea '51)

Directed by Roberto Rossellini

(Italy, 1952, 113 min.)

George and Irene Girard are a wealthy couple in post-WWII Rome, caught up in the family's industrial business and society life. But after they lose their neglected son to suicide, Irene begins to take an interest in those less fortunate than her, and devotes herself to charitable work.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Aug. 9, 4 p.m.


Fear aka Angst

[Non credo più all'amore (La paura)]

Directed by Roberto Rossellini

(W. Germany/Italy, 1954, 84 min.)

Married scientists Irene and Albert have two beautiful children and work together at a top research lab. But Irene has been discreetly conducting an affair with Erich (Italian and German).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Aug. 15, 1 p.m.,

Tue., Aug. 18, 5:10 p.m.


The Fiancés

(I fidanzati)

Directed by Ermanno Olmi

(Italy, 1963, 77 min.)

Poor Milanese lovers Giovanni and Liliana have been engaged for years but lack the financial means to marry. When Giovanni, a welder, leaves for Sicily and better pay, their separation only strengthens the relationship.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Aug. 8, 4 p.m.


The Leopard

(Il Gattopardo)

Directed by Luchino Visconti

(Italy/France, 1963, 187 min.)

The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860s Sicily (Italian, Latin and French).

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Aug. 29, 2 p.m.


Roma Ore 11

Directed by Giuseppe de Santis

(Italy/France, 1952, 104 min.)

A freak accident prompted the idea for "Rome 11:00," a neorealist tale of five women among hundreds of hopefuls applying for a low-paying secretarial job in postwar Rome.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Aug. 22, 2:30 p.m.


Totò Diabolicus

Directed by Steno

(Italy, 1962, 92 min.)

In this 1960s parody of a giallo crime thriller, legendary comic actor Totò plays five siblings: the murder victim, his dowager sister, and his two brothers.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Aug. 8, 2 p.m.


Violent Summer

(Estate violenta)

Directed by Valerio Zurlini

(Italy/France, 1959, 98 min.)

In the summer 1943, the war is not going well, but the wellheeled sons and daughters of the privileged romp around the Adriatic coast as if nothing were wrong.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Aug. 15, 3 p.m.


Events - August 2015

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Singapore Shows Its Lighter Side With 'Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap'

Singapore is marking its 50th anniversary of independence this year and in that half century, the tiny city-state has transformed itself into a global economic powerhouse renowned for rule and order. Precision might best describe this Southeast Asian island of 5 million people, not chaos.
Photo: How Drama
"Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap" by Singapore's How Drama theater company runs for one night only at the Kennedy Center on Aug. 7.

But that doesn't mean Singaporeans can't get a little crazy.

To celebrate this milestone and show off the country's own brand of humor, Singaporean theater company How Drama is bringing its mainstay production, "Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap," to the Kennedy Center for one night on Aug. 7.

The show crams 31 plays into one hour, with the audience deciding on the order. It tackles everything from technology, penguins, war, more penguins and, yes, it even broaches the subject of Singapore's infamous ban on chewing gum.

Among the burning questions "Fat Kids" raises: What if yoga was an Olympic sport? What is the worst time for a heart attack? What if Singapore were a category in "Jeopardy?"

"We are delighted to partner How Drama as citizen ambassadors to share insights into the way of life and current affairs of Singapore through this innovative and interactive theatrical platform for young people," said supporter Soh Lai Yee, head of cultural exchange for the Singapore International Foundation. "This is one example of the power of the arts and culture to promote understanding for an inclusive world, enriching and uplifting lives."

The company, above all, doesn't take itself too seriously. As it says in its press materials: "No, we aren't known to be a funny people, but we try all the same."

"Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap" runs Fri., Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $25.

— Anna Gawel










Through Aug. 2

From the Library: Florentine Publishing in the Renaissance

This exhibition presents a variety of books from the late 15th through the early 17th century and explores the development of publishing related to the artistic and scholarly community in Florence.

National Gallery of Art


Through Aug. 5

Miguel Rep's Bella Artes (Cartoons)

Cartoonist Miguel Repiso is the author of more than 30 books and has created nearly 60 popular characters and series. He has been publishing in the newspaper Página/12 from its very first issue and has also written for magazines and newspapers in various other countries.

Embassy of Argentina


Through Aug. 5

War & Art: Destruction and Protection of Italian Cultural Heritage during World War I

This photographic exhibition illustrates the Italian people's struggle to protect their cultural patrimony from the ravages of war. A century later, the images not only document early preservation efforts, but have become works of art in their own right, reminding us of the enduring struggle to save the highest expressions of the human spirit from the degradations and savagery of war.

Woodrow Wilson House


Through Aug. 7

A Touching Note from the Past

A total of 32 works by the four artists, each employing her own medium and style, seek to capture the unique sense of bittersweet emotion that permeates Korean culture, and the natural color palette of Korea's iconic art and landscape. Blending traditional techniques and modern aesthetics, the artists of Fiber 4 Now work collaboratively with fabric, natural fiber, dyes and synthetic materials to create a uniquely textured and handcrafted conversation on the broader theme of personal communication.

Korean Cultural Center


Through Aug. 9

Jacob Lawrence: Struggle ... From the History of the American People

Produced between 1954 and 1956, Jacob Lawrence's "Struggle ... From the History of the American People" portrays scenes from American history, chronicling events from the Revolutionary War through the great westward expansion of 1817.

The Phillips Collection


Through Aug. 16

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, this exhibit will showcase 20 artifacts collected from the debris of the bombings, six large folding screens that depict the horrors of the bombings and a collection of drawings by Japanese children created two years after the war ended.

AU Museum at Katzen Arts Center


Aug. 20 to Sept. 4

Justine Otto: hyder flares

Leading German contemporary figurative painter Justine Otto, who won the Phillips Collection's second annual Emerging Artist Prize, creates representational pictures that burn themselves into the viewer's retina, simultaneously fascinating and disturbing. Otto's exhibition "hyder flares," borrows its name from this cosmic phenomenon as it focuses on such peculiar constellations, incidents and connections in human interactions.



Through Aug. 23

Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude

To mark the 300th anniversary of the passing of the Longitude Act in 1714, this landmark exhibition tells the extraordinary story of the race to determine longitude (east-west position) at sea, helping to solve the problem of navigation and saving seafarers from terrible fates including shipwreck and starvation.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through Aug. 28

Definition of Color

Colombian-born, New York-based mixed-media artist Andés Hoyos primarily works with objects that have been discarded or left behind by others. His hope is that by giving these objects new life he helps to start a broader discussion about recycling. Viewings are by appointment only; email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to schedule a visit.

Colombian Ambassador's Residence


Aug. 29 to June 5, 2016

Perspectives: Lara Baladi

Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi experiments with the photographic medium, investigating its history and its role in shaping perceptions of the Middle East, particularly Egypt, where she is based.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Aug. 30

Hot to Cold: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation

On the heels of its summer blockbuster "BIG Maze," the international design firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) returns to take visitors from the hottest to the coldest parts of our planet and explore how BIG's design solutions are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts. More than 60 three-dimensional models will be suspended at the second-floor balconies of the museum's historic Great Hall in an unprecedented use of this public space.

National Building Museum


Through Sept. 7

Watch This! Revelations in Media Art

This exhibit of pioneering and contemporary artworks that trace the evolution of a continuously emerging medium celebrates artists who are engaged in a creative revolution — one shaped as much by developments in science and technology as by style or medium.

Smithsonian American Art Museum


Through Sept. 11

Miguel Salom: Ictum Olim III: Ambrotypes and Tintypes

Miquel Salom's exhibited works resulted from decades of applied photographic research and visits to the United States to observe, firsthand, original works by photography pioneers. Selected portraits and landscapes use wet collodion, an early form of photographic emulsion.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Sept. 13

American Moments: Photographs from the Phillips Collection

In celebration of recent major gifts, the Phillips presents for the first time a major photography exhibition drawn exclusively from the museum's permanent collection. The exhibit showcases more than 140 photographs that capture the changing landscape of America after World War I, with more than 30 renowned artists represented and many works new to the collection.

The Phillips Collection


Through Sept. 13

Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria

This retrospective showcases the work of noted Nigerian photographer Chief S.O. Alonge, the first indigenous photographer of the Royal Court of Benin, in conjunction with royal arts from the Benin kingdom. The collection of historic photographs was captured on Kodak glass-plate negatives and documents more than 50 years of the ritual, pageantry and regalia of the obas (kings), their wives and retainers.

National Museum of African Art


Through Sept. 13

The Memory of Time: Contemporary Photographs at the National Gallery of Art

In the decades since 1990, the concepts of time and memory have been frequently explored by photographers who seek not simply to reflect the world but to illuminate how photography constructs our understanding of it. This exhibition explores the work of 26 contemporary artists who investigate the complex and resonant relationship of photography to time, memory and history.

National Gallery of Art


Through Sept. 13

Organic Matters – Women to Watch 2015 / Super Natural

Historically, women artists were encouraged by society to take the natural world as their subject. Rather than narrative art, which was thought to require invention and imagination beyond women's capabilities, subjects such as botanical drawings, still-life paintings and images of animals seemed to require merely the power of observation. Turning this archaic paradigm upside down, these featured contemporary artists actively redefine the relationship of women, nature and art by investigating the natural world — to fanciful and sometimes frightful effect.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Sept. 13

Super Natural

Rather than merely document beauty, artists in "Super Natural" engage with nature as a space for exploration and invention. Historical painters and naturalists focused on the singularity or strangeness of plant and animal specimens, sometimes adding narrative details and imagined settings.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Sept. 20

Shirin Neshat: Facing History

This major exhibition of works by Iranian-born, New York-based video artist, photographer and filmmaker Shirin Neshat is the first to place Neshat's work in the context of the history of modern Iran, a significant influence on her career.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through Sept. 27

Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture

The confluence of the image of the river and the act of weaving is present both metaphorically and literally across contemporary practices in Colombia. Using the river as a conceptual device to explore the intersections in Colombian culture today between design, craft and art, "Waterweavers" investigates the intricate ways in which culture and nature can intertwine across disciplines.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Oct. 4

Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter's Eye

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-94) was among the most critically noted impressionist artists during the height of their activity in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Some 45 paintings from the period when Caillebotte was fully engaged with the impressionist movement will provide a focused understanding of the provocative character and complexity of his artistic contributions.

National Gallery of Art


Through Oct. 4

Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael

The first monographic exhibition on Dutch painter Wtewael will showcase his international mannerist style and remarkable technical ability through some 45 complex biblical and mythological narratives, as well as portraits and genre scenes.

National Gallery of Art


Through Oct. 4

Recent Acquisitions of Italian Renaissance Prints: Ideas Made Flesh

Prints played a pivotal role in the development and transmission of Italian Renaissance style. But because many of these 16th-century prints reproduce the designs of other artists, they have often been undervalued. This exhibition presents some two dozen, reflecting the principal styles and numerous major masters of the period.

National Gallery of Art


Through Oct. 31

Celebrating 25 Years of the MCI Silver on Silver: William Spratling, An American in Taxco

Adventurer, writer, collector, illustrator, architect, designer, entrepreneur and businessman are just a few words that have been used to describe William Spratling, a person who undoubtedly had much to do with Taxco's transformation from Mexican small town to center of design. Granted to the Museo Franz Mayer for a 10-year loan in 2012, this exhibition shows the trajectory of Spratling's vision for design as tool of not only aesthetics, but also one of social transformation. In four parts covering different themes, silver pieces, including jewelry and documents, seek to show Spratling as a designer committed to his context and his community.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through Nov. 1

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists

This dramatic multimedia exhibition reveals the ongoing global relevance of Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic as part of a shared intellectual heritage and includes original commissions and renowned works of art by approximately 40 of the most dynamic contemporary artists from 19 African nations and the diaspora.

National Museum of African Art


Through Dec. 31

Ingénue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion

The first exhibition at Hillwood to present Marjorie Post's full range of style, "Ingénue to Icon" will examine how Post's lifelong passion for objects that were exceptionally beautiful and impeccably constructed extended to her taste for clothing

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens


Through Jan. 2

Peacock Room Remix: Darren Waterston's Filthy Lucre

"Peacock Room REMIX" centers on "Filthy Lucre," an immersive interior by painter Darren Waterston who reinterprets James McNeill Whistler's famed Peacock Room as a resplendent ruin, an aesthetic space that is literally overburdened by its own excesses — of materials, history, and creativity. Like "Filthy Lucre" and the original Peacock Room, this exhibition invites viewers to consider the complex relationships among art, money and the passage of time.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Jan. 3

Bold and Beautiful: Rinpa in Japanese Art

The modern term Rinpa (Rimpa) describes a remarkable group of Japanese artists who created striking images for paintings, ceramics, textiles and lacquerware.

Freer Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 3

Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren (1626-1705)

Born a prince of the Ming imperial house, Bada Shanren (1626–1705) lived a storied life, remaking himself as a secluded Buddhist monk and, later, as a professional painter and calligrapher. Featured in this exhibition are examples of his most daring and idiosyncratic works, demonstrating his unique visual vocabulary.

Freer Gallery of Art



Tue., Aug. 4, 10:30 a.m.

Kankouran West African Dance Company: Visit Africa

Experience the sights and sounds of West African culture with D.C.'s premier dance company, replete with colorful costumes and dynamic drumming. Tickets are $8.

Wolf Trap



Mon., Aug. 3, 6:45 p.m.

Brazil's Buildup to the Olympics

Landing the Olympic and Paralympic Games demands that a country enter into an international competition that takes as much stamina, preparation and sheer determination as anything its athletes will face. What happens, then, once a nation is selected? How does a whole country go into training? Luis Fernandes, Brazil's former deputy minister of sports, offers an insider's perspective on how his sports-obsessed country is preparing for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics — and how the games will transform it. Tickets are $25; for information, visit

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Tue., Aug. 11, 6:45 p.m.

Voltaire for the 21st Century

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris last winter, a surprising book shot to the top of the French best-seller lists: Voltaire's "Treatise on Tolerance," first published in 1763. Jennifer Tsien is not surprised that readers find Voltaire relevant 250 years later. A professor in the French department at the University of Virginia, she explores this fascinating man, his forward-thinking work and what Voltaire can mean to us in the 21st century. Tickets are $42; for information, visit

Smithsonian Castle


Wed., Aug. 12, 6:45 p.m.

Lessons in Secret Diplomacy: Approaching Cuba Through Back Channels

When President Obama changed U.S. policy toward Cuba last winter, many people were surprised. But they shouldn't have been: Every president since Eisenhower has tried to melt the Cold War ice encasing U.S.–Cuba relations, using secret, back-channel communications. William LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh explored this secret diplomacy as they uncovered hundreds of formerly undisclosed American documents and interviewed dozens of negotiators, intermediaries, and policymakers, including Fidel Castro and Jimmy Carter. Tickets are $42; for information, visit

S. Dillon Ripley Center



Sun., Aug. 16, 2 p.m.

Concert: Orquesta Mexicana

The Pasatono Orquesta, masters of traditional music for over 17 years, will be performing as the new Orquesta Mexicana. Paying homage to composer Carlos Chávez's original 1933 Orquesta Mexicana, the group will be playing arrangements of traditional pieces by Chávez (1899-1978) and others from the concert series played by the original Orquesta at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1940. To RSVP, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Mexican Cultural Institute


Sat., Aug. 29, 4:30 p.m.

Afro-Cuban Drumming Class

Hosted in conjunction with the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club performance at Wolf Trap's Filene Center, this is your chance to set the hot Havana beats to Afro-Cuban drumming. Tickets are $15.

Wolf Trap Filene Center


Sat., Aug. 29, 8 p.m.

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club: Adios Tour

Warm, acoustic rhythms and Afro-Cuban jazz made this band a staple of Cuban music's golden age and a Grammy-winning international success. Don'g miss their final tour as they deliver "a shot of pure musical adrenalin that hits the mark every time" (BBC). Tickets are $25 to $50.

Wolf Trap Filene Center



Fri., Aug. 28, 8 p.m.

Art After Dark

Art After Dark, the annual after-hours fundraising event for the Art Museum of the Americas, rings in its sixth year with a night filled with video art, live music by Matias Aguayo of Chile, performance art by Dominique Paul of Canada and a renowned DJ. The museum's exhibition "Waterweavers" will stay open late for the occasion, and there will be a VIP section and raffle. Tickets are $45 or $90.

Art Museum of the Americas



Through Aug. 2

Let Them Eat Chaos

Famed Chicago troupe the Second City returns to Woolly with its latest uproarious offering, a blast of irreverent sketch comedy and razor-sharp satire that skewer American culture. Tickets are $35 to $100.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Fri., Aug. 7, 8:15 p.m.

Madama Butterfly

Experience Puccini's heartbreaking masterpiece of passion, honor and sacrifice with Wolf Trap Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra in this new staged and costumed production with custom video projections. Tickets are $25 to $75.

Wolf Trap Filene Center


Through Aug. 9

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Synetic remounts its playful adaptation of Shakespeare's timeless comedy with a trademark movement-based visual storytelling. This fantastical, darkly playful game of love, mistaken identity and the supernatural was honored with nine Helen Hayes Award nominations when it was first produced in 2010. Tickets start at $35.

Synetic Theatre


Aug. 11 to Sept. 20

The Fix

When a popular presidential candidate dies in his mistress's bed, his ambitious wife Violet thrusts their lackluster son Cal into the spotlight. With the help of her strategic brother-in-law, Violet transforms Cal into the perfect citizen and together they create one of the most dysfunctional — and brutally entertaining — almost-first families ever. Tickets start at $40.

Signature Theatre


Through Aug. 16

The Book of Mormon

Hailed by the New York Times as "the best musical of this century," this outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Tickets are $43 to $250.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Through Aug. 16


Theatrically breathtaking, the eight-time 2012 Tony Award–winning musical tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. Tickets are $65 to $160.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater


Classifieds - August 2015

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Real Estate Classifieds - August 2015

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