December 2015

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Cover Story

Tunisia's New Envoy Reflects
On Arab Spring, Five Years Later

a5.cover.tunisia.view.tunis.homeTunisia's new ambassador looks back on the forces of change that his country unleashed five years ago this month — changes that have reverberated from Damascus to Cairo to Paris. Read More 

People of World Influence

Scholar's Inside View of Iran
Informed by Time Behind Bars

a1.powi.haleh.esfandiari.homeYears of scholarly research and 105 days in solitary confinement in Iran's notorious Evin Prison have informed Haleh Esfandiari's insights into her native country and the region. Read More

Rise of the Right

Immigration, Insecurity Fuels
Rise of the Right in Europe before the recent migrant crisis and terrorist attacks in Paris, Europe's populist parties were riding a wave of electoral successes. Read More

Syrian Refugees in U.S.

Obama's Syria Refugee Plan:
Too Little or Too Much?

a3.syria.refugees.cold.homeThe White House's announcement that it would welcome an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees next year was met with applause by aid groups but criticism in Congress that the plan could open the doors to radicalism. Read More

Disaster in Dominica

Tiny Dominica Seeks U.S. Help
To Rebuild After Erika's Devastation was devastated by a tropical storm earlier this year, but now the hard part begins for the island's ambassador: convincing distracted U.S. policymakers to care about the long-term rebuilding effort. Read More

Turki's Tough Talk

Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki Delivers
Stinging Rebuke to Inaction on Syria

a6.prince.turki.homePrince Turki al-Faisal, one of Saudi Arabia's most influential and outspoken diplomats, says humanity is "criminally negligent" for not doing more forcefully to end the civil war in Syria. Read More

New Frontier: Cyberspace

U.S., China Wade Into Unchartered,
Territory of Defining Cyberspace cybersecurity agreement between China and the U.S. marks a rare inroad in the untamed and unregulated frontier of cyberspace. Read More

Diplomacy Verbatim: Beyond Diplospeak

In Principality of Liechtenstein,
It's the Little Things That Count

a8.lichenstein.claudia.fritsche.homeThe Principality of Liechtenstein may be difficult to spell and pronounce, but at just 61 square miles, it's an intriguing microstate in the heart of the Alps that is well worth getting to know. Read More

Digital Diplomacy Forum

Two New Apps Offer Tools
For Journalists in Conflict Areas new apps are trying to keep journalists in conflict zones safe. Read More


First Uterus Transplant
Planned in United States 

a10.medical.uterus.homeIn what could herald a breakthrough in infertility treatment and organ transplantation, doctors hope to transplant a uterus from a deceased donor into a woman without one.   Read More


Scholar’s Inside View of Iran Informed by Time Behind Bars

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By Michael Coleman

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Immigration, Insecurity Fuel Rise of the Right in Europe

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By Karin Zeitvogel and Anna Gawel

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Obama’s Syria Refugee Plan: Too Little or Too Much?

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By Sean Lyngaas

Read more: Obama’s Syria Refugee Plan: Too Little or Too Much?

Tiny Dominica Seeks U.S. Help To Rebuild After Erika’s Devastation

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Tiny Dominica Seeks U.S. Help To Rebuild After Erika’s Devastation

Tunisia’s New Envoy Reflects On Arab Spring, Five Years Later

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By Larry Luxner

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Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki Delivers Stinging Rebuke to Inaction on Syria

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By Larry Luxner

NEW YORK — Prince Turki al-Faisal, one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential and outspoken diplomats, says humanity is “criminally negligent” for not acting more forcefully to end the civil war in Syria, a conflict that since 2011 has claimed at least 250,000 lives and displaced half the country’s population.

Turki, a 70-year-old grandfather and son of the late King Faisal, headed Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency for 24 years and served as Riyadh’s ambassador to the United States from 2005 until his retirement in early 2007.

On Nov. 3, Turki was the guest of honor at New York’s Yale Club, where he accepted the George H.W. Bush Global Leadership Award at a $500-a-plate cocktail reception and Q&A organized by Washington-based Layalina Productions, which seeks to bridge the divide between the Arab world and the United States.

“Some folks are saying unkind things about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” lamented Leon Shahabian, Layalina’s president and executive producer, “but those of us in this room know the history of this incredibly important relationship. News cycles come and go, but this partnership is decades old, so we’re here to honor everything this bilateral relationship has done to benefit our respective nations and build for the future.”

Photo: Larry Luxner
Former Saudi Ambassador Prince Turki al-Faisal speaks as the guest of honor at New York's Yale Club, where he received the George H.W. Bush Global Leadership Award at an event organized by D.C.-based Layalina Productions.

In a videotaped welcome, the elder Bush said he’s proud to serve as honorary chairman of Layalina — an Arab film and TV production company — “because of my belief in the need to reach out” to the peoples of the Middle East.

“Today we stand at a crossroads: whether we will have a world of peace or a world of conflict,” the 41st president said. “The voices of reason and moderation need to be heard more clearly, and we all look forward to a time of decreased tensions.”

Yet today’s Middle East is anything but tranquil, as Turki sadly noted.

“If humanity looks at itself and considers what’s happening in Syria, we are all criminally negligent. Everybody is to blame,” he said bluntly. “It’s not just Russians or Iranians, but the Saudis and Americans too. Nobody is doing what is necessary to put a stop to the pain and sorrow the Syrian people have been going through these last four years.”

Turki spoke before a select group of 100 guests, answering questions posed by retired diplomat Walter Cutler, a former two-time U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia who spent 17 years as president of Washington’s Meridian International Center.

Also in the audience: Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the United Nations; Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Sharif, the country’s consul-general in New York; Majdi Ramadan, Lebanon’s consul-general in New York; and John Duke Anthony, founding president and chief executive of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

Turki, considered one of the most educated royals in the House of Saud, was born in Mecca, attended high school in Princeton, N.J., and graduated in the class of 1968 from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (he’s also done post-graduate work at Princeton, Cambridge and the University of London).

After Faisal’s death in 1975, Turki and his siblings established the King Faisal Foundation to invest in education throughout Saudi Arabia. Since retiring from public office, the prince has headed the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.

Cutler asked Turki if he had any glimmer of hope that peace would come to Syria.

“I am not optimistic at all,” the Saudi prince replied, shaking his head ruefully. “It’s been four and a half years, and as the carnage gets worse, everybody is just sitting back. All I see is political posturing — not any genuine and sincere dedication to ending the fighting. They talk about the Syrian people without consulting the Syrian people. We need someone in the world community to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’”

He noted wryly that at the recent Vienna peace conference — which included 17 countries and marked the broadest effort yet aimed at ending the war — delegates issued passionate declarations of support for the Syrian people, but nobody offered solutions.

“The means are there, whether they’re military, economic or political. If the Russians, the Saudis, the Americans and the Europeans really wanted to put a stop to the carnage taking place in Syria, they can do that,” said Turki, whose government, considered the custodian of Sunni Islam, is deeply opposed to the presence of Shiite arch-rival Iran at those talks.

A big part of the problem, he suggested, is Iran’s continued support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Nobody is willing to do what is needed to get over this crisis,” Turki said. “We cannot change geography by breaking the Arabian Peninsula off from the continent of Asia and heading for more peaceful waters. Iran will always be next to us. We have to deal with them whatever way we can.”

The other thing that can’t be changed, he said, is the simple fact that both predominantly Shiite Iran and staunchly Sunni Saudi Arabia are Muslim countries.

“We believe in the same God, the same Prophet and the same holy book, even though we have our differences on the lesser issues. But since the Iranian Revolution, [Ayatollah] Khomeini introduced a new heresy: the supremacy of the clerics to rule in Iran,” Turki said. “These historic links between Iran and the rest of us have been in trouble because of Khomeini’s belief in exporting the revolution. Iran’s continued interference in the affairs of Arab countries is the stumbling block for developing equitable and friendly relations.”

John Loeb, a retired U.S. diplomat and philanthropist, asked Turki why Saudi Arabia — arguably the richest, most powerful country in the 22-member Arab League and the one that has played a leading role in supporting Sunni rebels fighting Assad’s regime — doesn’t take the initiative in solving the Syria conundrum, suggesting that “if you took the lead, the United States would follow.”

But that’s exactly what Riyadh did, the prince countered — to no avail.

“From the beginning, the late King Abdullah tried to convince Bashar al-Assad personally — through emissaries and diplomatic meetings of the Arab League — to relent on his oppressive policy toward his own people, without success. So the kingdom and its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council came to the U.N. Security Council with specific proposals for ending the fighting,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, the Russian and Chinese delegation vetoed those proposals, but the kingdom’s leadership was quite well known to the participants,” Turki said, adding that “the coalition now fighting ISIS [the Islamic State] in Syria was Saudi Arabia’s idea, and it came from a meeting in Jeddah attended by Secretary of State [John] Kerry.”

In fact, the United States has traditionally played the role of peacemaker, Turki pointed out, but under the Obama administration, Washington’s influence has waned.

“During the 1973 Ramadan War, which here they call the Yom Kippur War, Henry Kissinger took it upon himself — after some persuasion from the late King Faisal — to start a process of ending the fighting [between Israel and a coalition of Arab states]. And he did that, not simply because he was clever or more educated, but because he set his mind to it. And he galvanized support within the Arab world, and even in Israel, to put a stop to the fighting,” Turki recalled.

“When [Israeli Prime Minister] Golda Meir became obstinate and kept saying ‘no, no, no,’ Henry pushed and eventually we saw a change of government in Israel, and Mrs. Meir was replaced by a very personable, young politician named Yitzhak Rabin.”

Pausing for a moment to mark the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s 1995 assassination by a fellow Jew opposed to the Oslo peace process leading to a two-state solution, the Saudi prince said the forces of extremism are growing throughout the Middle East.

Yet the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, bad as it is, pales in comparison to the blood being spilled in Iraq and Syria at the hands of terrorists bent on establishing an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East.

“Let’s start by changing the name,” Turki suggested. “You call them ISIS or ISIL, giving it the semblance of being a state and being Islamic. It is neither; it’s more the symptom than the disease.”

The eloquent prince, who prefers to use the derogatory Arabic term Daesh to label the terrorist group, noted that “if there were healthy, functioning governments in Syria and Iraq, Daesh would not exist. It is the failed governments in both countries that allow Daesh to take advantage of the situation. So cure the disease in Damascus and Baghdad — and Daesh will disappear.”

About the Author

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.


U.S., China Wade Into Unchartered Territory of Defining Cyberspace

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By Justin Salhani

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In Principality of Liechtenstein, It’s the Little Things That Count

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By Dave Seminara

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Two New Apps Offer Tools For Journalists in Conflict Areas

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By Molly McCluskey

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First Uterus Transplant Planned in United States

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By Margaret Farley Steele (HealthDay News)

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Mix of New and Old Stores Usher in Holiday Season

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

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Local Real Estate Sales Moving at Brisk Pace

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

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National Gallery of Art Toasts Its Photographic Legacy

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By Gary Tischler

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Ulla Rønberg Specializes in Promoting Danish Culture Around World

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By Gail Scott

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Harsh Austerity, Universal Warmth of Arctic Shine in ‘Under the Same Stars’

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By Karin Sun

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Apple Cycle’s Familial Drama Is Laden With Heavy Realism

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By Lisa Troshinsky

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Delectable Midday Breaks Also Offer Holiday Respite

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By Michael Coleman

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Films - December 2015

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By Cari































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




The High Sun

Directed by Dalibor Matanić

(Croatia/Serbia/Slovenia, 2015, 123 min.)

Set during the years of 1991, 2001 and 2011, the action takes place between two neighboring Balkan villages — one Serbian, one Croatian — with two lovers' lives unavoidably being affected by the war.

AFI Silver Theatre

Wed., Dec. 9, 7:10 p.m.


The Reaper

Directed by Zvonimir Jurić

(Croatia/Slovenia, 2014, 98 min.)

Aging farmhand Ivo gives stranded motorist Mirjana a lift to the gas station one night. But his apparent altruism is immediately greeted with suspicion by the local villagers, who recall that Ivo once served time for rape and have never forgiven him.

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 11, 5:05 p.m.,

Sat., Dec. 12, 1 p.m.


The Snake Brothers

Directed by Jan Prusinovský

(Czech Republic, 2015, 111 min.)

Real-life brothers Krystof and Matej Hádek play ne'er-do-
well brothers in this gritty melodrama, shot through with moments of anarchic comedy.

AFI Silver Theatre

Tue., Dec. 15, 7 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 16, 9:15 p.m.



A War

Directed by Tobias Lindholm

(Denmark, 2015, 115 min.)

Danish commander Claus Pedersen does his best to keep his troops safe and morale high on their deployment to Afghanistan, but is forced to make a fateful judgment call under enemy fire.

AFI Silver Theatre

Mon., Dec. 14, 7 p.m.




Directed by Saskia Diesing

(Netherlands/Germany, 2014, 94 min.)

Growing up on the Dutch-German border, teenager Nena enjoys Goethe's poetry and Goth style, but really goes wild for her blue-haired, baseball-playing new boyfriend (Dutch and German).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 19, 11 a.m.



The 33

Directed by Patricia Riggen

(U.S./Chile, 2015, 127 min.)

In 2010, the eyes of the world turned to Chile, where 33 miners had been buried alive by the catastrophic collapse of a 100-year-old mine. Over the next 69 days, an international team worked night and day in a desperate attempt to rescue the trapped men as their families and friends, as well as millions of people globally, watched anxiously for any sign of hope (English and Spanish).

Area theaters



Directed by Jeppe Rønde

(Denmark, 015, 95 min.)

Documentarian Jeppe Rønde's narrative debut is a haunting meditation on the real-life plague of teen suicides in a South Wales town.

AFI Silver Theatre

Wed., Dec. 2, 9:25 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 9, 9:40 p.m.



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.

The Avalon Theatre



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

Landmark's E Street Cinema

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

Opens Fri., Dec. 11


Heart of a Dog

Directed by Laurie Anderson

(France/U.S., 2015, 75 min.)

Centering on Laurie Anderson's beloved piano-playing and finger-painting rat terrier, who died in 2011, "Heart of a Dog" is a wry, wondrous and unforgettable cinematic journey through love, death and language.

Landmark's E Street Cinema



Directed by Jake Gavin

(U.K., 2015, 87 min.)

Sixtysomething Hector McAdam has been living rough in
 Scotland since
 an unspeakable
 family tragedy
 some 15 years 
before. Hector 
has his demons but he still has his dignity.

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 18, 5:05 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 20, 5:15 p.m.



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

Opens Fri., Dec. 11


Kill Your Friends

Directed by Owen Harris

(U.K., 2015, 100 min.)

Former A&R exec John Niven's cult novel, about music biz excess and Machiavellian maneuvering during Britain's late-'90s Britpop craze, is translated to the screen by first-time feature director Owen Harris.

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 11, 9:40 p.m.,

Sat., Dec. 12, 9:20 p.m.


The Lady in the Van

Directed by Nicholas Hytner

(U.K., 2015, 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.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 6, 1 p.m.



Directed by Brian Helgeland

(U.K./France, 2015, 131 min.)

Identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, two of the most notorious criminals in British history, run an organized crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s.

Area theaters



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.

Area theaters

Opens Fri., Dec. 11



Directed by Christopher Nolan

(U.S., 2001, 113 min.)

A man creates a strange system to help him remember things; so he can hunt for the murderer of his wife without his short-term memory loss being an obstacle.

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Wed., Dec. 2, 7 and 9 p.m.


Northern Soul

Directed by Elaine Constantine

(U.K., 2014, 102 min.)

Things are grim up north, in the economically depressed Manchester and its surroundings of 1974. But on the
 dance floor of the local youth center, kids are grooving to American soul.

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 4, 9:45 p.m.


A Perfect Day

Directed by Fernando León de Aranoa

(Spain, 2015, 106 min.)

The Balkans, 1995: Fighting has wound down and peace talks have begun, but problems still confront Mambrú (Benicio Del Toro) and his colleagues at NGO Aid Across Borders.

AFI Silver Theatre

Tue., Dec. 1, 7:15 p.m.


A Royal Night Out

Directed by Julian Jarrold

(U.K., 2015, 97 min.)

After nearly six years of World War II, peace is
 won and London erupts into a spontaneous celebration. Accompanied by two military officers, teenaged princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are allowed by the King and Queen to slip out of Buckingham Palace incognito and join in the historic revelry.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 6, 7:15 p.m.


Second Coming

Directed by Debbie Tucker Green

(U.K., 2014, 104 min.)

Playwright Debbie Tucker Green's provocative feature film debut focuses on a modern-day miraculous conception incurred by a married, middle-class mother in Britain.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 19, 5:05 p.m.


Tale of Tales

Directed by Matteo Garrone

(Italy/France/U.K., 2015, 125 min.)

Even bawdier and bloodier than tales by the Brothers Grimm, Matteo Garrone's film will fascinate fans of folklore and fantastic cinema.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 12, 7 p.m.,

Thu., Dec. 17, 7:15 p.m.



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

Opens Fri., Dec. 25



Directed by Elmo Nüganen

(Estonia/Finland, 2015, 100 min.)

"1944" is a dramatic account of the bloody World War II Battle of Tannenberg Line on the Eastern Front, where Estonian civilians were caught between the German and Soviet armies, with native sons fighting on both sides.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 5, 1 p.m.,

Mon., Dec. 7, 5:05 p.m.


In the Crosswind

Directed by Martti Helde

(Estonia, 2014, 90 min.)

Martti Helde's visionary and moving account of the Soviets' 1940s deportation of thousands of Estonians to Siberia mixes live action with tableaux vivant: painstaking, painterly compositions of actors frozen in place.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 12, 5:05 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 13, 3:15 p.m.


The Fencer

Directed by Klaus Härö

(Finland/Estonia/Germany, 2015, 93 min.)

The Soviet Union, 1953: Fearing he may be caught up in a widening Stalinist crackdown on his fellow Baltic dissidents, Endel flees Leningrad for a small town in his native Estonia. Taking a job as a gym teacher, Endel, a skilled and dedicated fencer, begins teaching his pupils the ways of this most elegant of sports.

AFI Silver Theatre

Thu., Dec. 10, 7:15 p.m.,

Sat., Dec. 12, 12:45 p.m.


The Grump

Directed by Dome Karukoski

(Finland, 2014, 104 min.)

After an ankle injury sidelines the titular 80-year-old misanthrope, he's forced to move in with his son and daughter-in-law, where a clash of generations ensues.

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 18, 9:25 p.m.



Directed by Bas Devos

(Belgium/Netherlands, 2014, 85 min.)

Fifteen-year-old Jesse witnesses the stabbing death of his best friend at a shopping mall, as friends and family struggle to understand the seemingly unmotivated, random murder (Flemish and Dutch).

AFI Silver Theatre

Thu., Dec. 3, 9:40 p.m.,

Mon., Dec. 7, 9:25 p.m.



Directed by Alice Winocour

(France/Belgium, 2015, 101 min.)

Afghanistan war vet Vincent suffers from PTSD. He's hired as a temp security guard at Maryland, the estate of Lebanese businessman Whalid, where he overhears a conversation that seems to indicate Whalid is involved in illegal arms dealing.

AFI Silver Theatre

Wed., Dec. 2, 7:15 p.m.,

Tue., Dec. 8, 7:15 p.m.



Directed by Philippe Faucon

(France, 2015, 79 min.)

A Moroccan immigrant now living in Lyon, France, Fatima works long hours as a cleaning lady to support her two daughters, one a promising pre-med student and the other a rebellious teen.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 13, 1 p.m.,

Tue., Dec. 15, 7:15 p.m.


Fidelio, Alice's Odyssey

Directed by Lucie Borleteau

(France, 2014, 97 min.)

After a passionate farewell to her boyfriend, ship's engineer Alice joins up with the in-transit cargo ship Fidélio, where the captain is a former lover.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 13, 7:20 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 16, 7:15 p.m.


My Golden Days

Directed by Arnaud Desplechin

(France, 2015, 123 min.)

Arnaud Desplechin revisits his hapless romantic character Paul Dedalus, this time exploring the character's wild younger years in the 1980s, from the pangs of first love to amateur international espionage.

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 4, 7:15 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 9, 7:15 p.m.


The Magic Mountain

Directed by Anca Damian

(Romania/France/Poland, 2015, 89 min.)

This wildly creative animated docudrama is
 a chronicle of the life story of Polish expat Adam Jacek Winkler, who settled in France after a lifetime of struggle, from fighting against Poland's Communist rule to a stint fighting for the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet army (French, English and Polish).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 12, 3:05 p.m.,

Mon., Dec. 14, 5:05 p.m.



Directed by Jonas Carpignano

(Italy/France/U.S./Germany/Qatar, 2015, 107 min.)

Ayiva and his friend make the dangerous journey from Burkina Faso to Italy, surviving the Sahara desert, murderous bandits and a stormy Mediterranean crossing. But in the land of their dreams, good work proves hard to find, and temptations for easier money abound (French, Italian, English and Arabic).

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 11, 9:20 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 16, 7 p.m.


In the Shadow of Women

Directed by Philippe Garrel

(France/Switzerland, 2015, 73 min.)

Philippe Garrel returns with this exquisite romantic drama, an examination of marital infidelity and a freewheeling riff on life, art and the never-ending battle of the sexes.

AFI Silver Theatre

Thu., Dec. 3, 5 p.m.,

Tue., Dec. 8, 9:40 p.m.,

Thu., Dec. 10, 5:10 p.m.


In the Basement

Directed by Ulrich Seidl

(Austria, 2014, 81 min.)

Arch provocateur Ulrich Seidl returns to his documentary roots with this investigation of how his countrymen and women relate to their basements — a space, according to the filmmaker,
 for one's most personal hobbies.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 13, 9:25 p.m.,

Mon., Dec. 14, 9:25 p.m.


Fassbinder: To Love Without Demands

Directed by Christian Braad Thomsen

(Denmark, 2015, 109 min.)

Danish documentarian
 Christian Braad
 Thomsen reflects
 upon the life and
 career of his longtime 
friend Rainer Werner
 Fassbinder, the enfant
 terrible and leading
 light of the New 
German Cinema.

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 4, 3 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 6, 9:30 p.m.


A German Youth

Directed by Jean-Gabriel Periot

(France/Germany/Switzerland, 2015, 93 min.)

Before they became radicalized terrorists and members of
 West Germany's infamous Red Army Faction, Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin and Holger Meins were journalists, artists and filmmakers (German and French).

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 11, 3 p.m.,

Sat., Dec. 19, 3:15 p.m.


A Blast

Directed by Syllas Tzoumerkas

(Greece, 2015, 83 min.)

A wife and mother is driven to extremes by the collapse of her family, business and belief system in this scathing thriller (Greek, English and German).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 12, 9:40 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 13, 7:15 p.m.


Impressions of a Drowned Man

Directed by Kyros Papavassiliou

(Cyprus/Slovenia/Greece, 2015, 82 min.)

A man wakes up on the beach with no memory of who or where he is. In his possession is a notebook of poems. In time meets people who claim to be 
his parents and an ex-girlfriend who claim he
is actually the famous poet Kostas Karyotakis, who committed suicide in 1928.

AFI Silver Theatre

Mon., Dec. 14, 10 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 16, 5:10 p.m.


Liza the Fox-Fairy

Directed by Károly Ujj Mészáros

(Hungary, 2015, 98 min.)

In 1970s Budapest, Liza, a live-in nurse for an ailing widow,
has an imaginary friend: long-dead Japanese pop singer Tomy Tani, but when a real-life love arrives, Tomy becomes jealous (Hungarian and Japanese).

AFI Silver Theatre

Thu., Dec. 17, 7 p.m.,

Sat., Dec. 19, 9:40 p.m.


My Mother

Directed by Margherita Buy

(Italy/France, 2015, 106 min.)

Director Margherita Buy projects calm confidence, but the mounting strain of various life challenges is starting to take a toll. Her mother is hospitalized with heart trouble, her movie shoot is not going well, she's just broken up with her actor boyfriend and her daughter is flunking Latin (Italian and English).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 13, 5:05 p.m.,

Tue., Dec. 14, 9 p.m.

The Wait

Directed by Piero Messina

(Italy/France, 2015, 100 min.)

Juliette Binoche stars as Anna, a grieving mother holed up at a Sicilian villa. When her son's girlfriend shows up unexpectedly, Anna isn't able to break the tragic news, instead pretending he will return in a few days (Italian and French).

AFI Silver Theatre

Wed., Dec. 16, 9:20 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 20, 3 p.m.



Directed by Seijun Suzuki

(Japan, 1981, 140 min.)

A mysterious woman named Shinako invites Matsuzaki, a playwright, to a romantic rendezvous. While Matsuzaki is on his way, his patron Tamawaki appears on the train, claiming to be en route to witness a love suicide between a married woman and her lover.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Dec. 6, 2 p.m.


Pistol Opera

Directed by Seijun Suzuki

(Japan, 2001, 112 min.)

Stray Cat, the number three killer in her assassins' guild, battles her way to the top against characters such as Painless Surgeon, a cowboy who can feel no pain, and the mysterious number one killer Hundred Eyes.

Freer Gallery of Art

Fri., Dec. 18, 7 p.m.


Princess Raccoon

Directed by Seijun Suzuki

(Japan, 2005, 111 min.)

After being exiled, a prince comes across a magical land of shape-shifting raccoons and falls in love with their princess.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Dec. 20, 2 p.m.



Directed by Seijun Suzuki

(Japan, 1991, 128 min.)

Takehisa Yumeji (1884-1934) was an artist known as much for his paintings of beautiful women as for his bohemian lifestyle. As played by rock star Kenji Sawada, this Yumeji is a serial seducer haunted by thoughts of his own death while pursuing ideals of beauty in his art.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Dec. 13, 2 p.m.



Directed by Seijun Suzuki

(Japan, 1980, 144 min.)

Aochi is an uptight professor at a military academy while his erstwhile colleague Nakasago, is now a wild-haired wanderer and possible murderer in this metaphysical ghost story involving love triangles, doppelgangers and a blurred line between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Freer Gallery of Art

Fri., Dec. 4, 7 p.m.


Escaping Riga

Directed by Davis Simanis Jr.

(Latvia/Russia/U.K., 2014, 69 min.)

More than 100 years ago, two men were born in Riga: revolutionary Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein and celebrated Russo-British philosopher Isaiah Berlin. Filmmaker Davis Simanis playfully explores their divergent paths throughout the important moments of the 20th century.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 13, 9 p.m.,

Thu., Dec. 17, 5:10 p.m.


The Summer of Sangaile

Directed by Alanté Kavaïté

(Lithuania/France/ Netherlands, 2015, 88 min.)

Alanté Kavaïté won a Best Director award at Sundance for this rapturous portrait of two teenaged girls' summertime love affair.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.,

Thu., Dec. 10, 9 p.m.



Directed by Donato Rotunno

(Luxembourg, 2015, 90 min.)

Living alone with his single mother, 13-year-old X is a troubled teen, removed from reality. Sent into a remedial class after his latest violent outburst at school, X meets Shirley, and the two teens retreat into a world of sex, drugs and violence.

AFI Silver Theatre

Mon., Dec. 7, 9:50 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 9, 5:10 p.m.



Directed by Rebecca Cremona

(Malta, 2014, 101 min.)

Based on a 
true story from
 the front lines of 
Europe's migrant 
crisis, young
 Theo is excited to
 go out on his father's tuna fishing boat, the Simshar, for the first time. But things go terribly wrong and the boat sinks, leaving the crew stranded far out in the Mediterranean.

AFI Silver Theatre

Tue., Dec. 8, 5:10 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 9, 9:45 p.m.



Directed by Malgorzata Szumowska

(Poland, 2015, 92 min.)

At a
 loss to cope with his anorexic, depressed daughter Olga, her coroner father has her institutionalized for therapy. Olga's counselor gets good results with the girls in her care, but has an unconventional sideline as a medium who converses with the dearly departed.

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 18, 7:15 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 20, 1 p.m.



Directed by João Pedro Plácido

(Portugal/Switzerland/France, 2014, 78 min.)

Documentarian João Pedro Plácido captures the look and feel
 of rural life in this portrait of a tight-knit community of farmers in the village of Uz in northern Portugal.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 12, 11 a.m.,

Tue., Dec. 15, 5:10 p.m.



Directed by Radu Jude

(Romania/Bulgaria/Czech Republic/France, 2015, 108 min.)

In the principality of Wallachia, life is more Dark Ages than Age of Enlightenment, even in 1835.

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 11, 7:15 p.m.,

Mon., Dec. 14, 7:15 p.m.


One Floor Below

Directed by Radu Muntean

(Romania/France/Germany/Sweden, 2015, 93 min.)

On his way up to his apartment, Sandu overhears a violent argument between neighbors Laura and Vali. Later that day,
 he learns that Laura is dead — possibly murdered.

AFI Silver Theatre

Tue., Dec. 15, 9:45 p.m.

Thu., Dec. 17, 9:45 p.m.


The Treasure

Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu

(Romania/France, 2015, 89 min.)

Unemployed Adrian asks neighbor Costi for a loan to fend off foreclosure on his apartment. Rebuffed, Adrian entices Costi to become his partner on a scheme to dig up a mysterious treasure, the existence of which was promised 
by Adrian's late grandfather.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m.


Eva Nová

Directed by Marko Skop

(Slovakia/Czech Republic, 2015, 106 min.)

Leaving her third stint in rehab for alcoholism, faded actress 
Eva Nová is intent on reconnecting with her estranged son but with little hope to revive her acting career, must take a job at a grocery store.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 19, 1 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 20, 7:15 p.m.


The Tree

Directed by Sonja Prosenc

(Slovenia/Italy, 2014, 90 min.)

A mother, teenager and 9-year-old don't venture outside their house. Across three chapters, each exploring the perspective of a single family member, the family's story and the reasons they fear their neighbors gradually come into focus (Slovene and Albanian).

AFI Silver Theatre

Thu., Dec. 17, 9:40 p.m.


Ma Ma

Directed by Julio Medem

(Spain/France, 2015, 111 min.)

Diagnosed with breast cancer and recently left by her husband, a chance encounter with a Real Madrid scout leads to an unexpected romance for Magda.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 6, 3:15 p.m.,

Mon., Dec. 7, 7:10 p.m.

The Pearl Button

(El botón de nácar)

Directed by Patricio Guzmán

(Chile/France/Spain, 2015, 79 min.)

Chile, with its 2,670 miles of coastline, the largest archipelago in the world, presents a supernatural landscape and holds the secret of a mysterious button that was discovered in its seabed.

Landmark's E Street Cinema


The Here After

Directed by Magnus von Horn

(Sweden/Poland/France, 2015, 102 min.)

Teenager John returns to his home in rural Sweden after two years away
 in a secure institution. It's not immediately revealed what his crime was, but it soon becomes clear that the other kids in school have no intention of forgiving him.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 5, 11 a.m.,

Tue., Dec. 8, 9:20 p.m.


Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words

(Jar är Ingrid)

Directed by Stig Björkman

(Sweden, 2015, 114 min.)

Through never-before-seen home movies — along with Ingrid Bergman's personal notes, letters and diaries — this documentary presents an intimate and moving portrait of one of the most acclaimed film actresses of all time (Swedish and English).

Landmark's E Street Cinema



Directed by Jacques Audiard

(France, 2015, 109 min.)

In this gripping tale, three
 Sri Lankan refugees, seeking escape from their war-torn homeland, pose as a family to gain safe passage to France (Tamil, English and French).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 5, 5:15 p.m.,

Tue., Dec. 8, 7:20 p.m.


Events - December 2015

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Embassies Come in From The Cold at Winternational

"Winternational - 4th Annual Embassy Showcase" at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center offers visitors the opportunity to travel the world and take care of some holiday shopping — all during their lunch hour.

This popular annual festival features an international bazaar that includes displays of visual arts, handcrafts, travel and tourism information as well as samples of national specialties, coffees and teas. There will also be chances for one-on-one interviews with diplomats, embassy exhibitors, sponsors and attendees.

Participating embassies include: African Union, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, European Union Delegation, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Latvia, League of Arab States, Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and more.

"Winternational" will be held Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building. For information, visit



Through Dec. 3

Surveillance Blind

Data and information flow around us and track our consumer habits, shape our identities, and mediate our relationships to our nation states. Who controls and uses our data is a question debated worldwide. The artists in this exhibition investigate the paradox of these connections and probe our relationship with data collection and interpretation.

Goethe-Institut Washington


Through Dec. 13

Susanne Kessler: Jerusalem

German-born artist Susanne Kessler has created a work unique to the American University Museum: a combination of drawing, installation and mixed media inspired by the city map of Jerusalem. Kessler explores how the city has transcended international conflict and war between religions as a spiritual location for three monotheistic religions, referring back to a common root and the beauty and wisdom of the three.

Katzen Arts Center


Dec. 13 to March 20

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

Some 50 bronze sculptures and related works survey the development of Hellenistic art as it spread from Greece throughout the Mediterranean between the fourth and first centuries B.C. Through the medium of bronze, artists were able to capture the dynamic realism, expression, and detail that characterized the new artistic goals of the period.

National Gallery of Art


Through Dec. 14

Rymd – A Swedish Space Odyssey

Sweden has been a member of the world space elite ever since the first space rocket left Earth. For more than half a century Swedish space research, technology and innovations have been at the cutting edge of space exploration and discovery. See the smallest space rocket engine in the world, find out about a unique and sustainable propulsion system and learn how Sweden awakened comet chaser Rosetta from her solar slumber. You can even help plan a mission to search for alien life on the icy moons of Jupiter. The digital stations in this exhibit offer videos, interviews and in-depth facts. And don't miss out on the chance to win a space adventure in Abisko, Sweden, north of the Arctic Circle. For information, visit

House of Sweden


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

Age of Lawyers: The Roots of American Law in Shakespeare's Britain

In the 800th anniversary year of the Magna Carta, "Age of Lawyers" offers a close-up look at the rapid increase of lawyers and legal actions in Shakespeare's Britain, from the law's impact on daily life to major political and legal disputes — some invoking the Magna Carta — that still influence American politics and government.

Folger Shakespeare Library


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


Through Jan. 3

Le Onde: Waves of Italian Influence (1914-1971)

This exhibition of nearly 20 works from the museum's collection follows Italian contributions to the transnational evolution of abstraction, through movements and tendencies such as futurism, spatialism, op art and kinetic art.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through Jan. 10

Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks from Switzerland, The Staechelin and Im Obersteg Collections

This exhibition pays tribute to two pioneering supporters of the arts, Rudolf Staechelin (1881-1946) and Karl Im Obersteg (1883-1969), both from Basel, who championed the work of impressionist, post-impressionist and School of Paris artists, providing a platform to distinguish collecting philosophies and situate them within the history and reception of modern art. The exhibition features more than 60 celebrated paintings — masterpieces created during the mid-19th and 20th centuries by 22 world-famous artists.

The Phillips Collection


Through Jan. 17

Esther Bubley Up Front

Esther Bubley (1921-98) was a photojournalist renowned for her revealing profiles of the United States and its people in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. Bubley's talent for creating probing and gently humorous images of Americans contributed to her success in photojournalism.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Jan. 31

Sōtatsu: Making Waves

Tawaraya Sōtatsu (act. ca. 1600–40), a fountainhead of Japanese painting and design, is one of the most influential yet elusive figures in Japanese culture. Sōtatsu's work is instantly recognized by its bold, abstracted style, lavish swaths of gold and silver and rich jewel tones. Much of the artist's life, however, remains a mystery. How a working-class owner of a Kyoto fan shop transformed into a sophisticated designer with a network of aristocratic collaborators is still an enigma — and the focus of this in-depth examination of masterpieces.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Jan. 31

Streams of Being

Drawn from the permanent collection of the Art Museum of the Americas, "Streams of Beings" brings to light a multiplicity of ideas and identities emerging within contemporary Latin American art. Featuring 22 artists from 12 countries across the Americas, this exhibition explores the permeable boundaries and dimensions of life through interrelated themes of scale and place, human and animal bodies. Throughout four intersecting "streams" — Bestiary, Cosmos, Topologies and Bodies in Exile — the display stages movement and displacement, dwelling on crossings both serendipitous and transgressive.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Feb. 3

Hidden Identities: Paintings and Drawings by Jorge Tacla

With the earliest works in the series dating to 2005, "Hidden Identities" by Chilean artist Jorge Tacla is composed of a rich series of paintings and drawings that explore central themes of mutability of identity, collective memory, the physical and psychological fallout of trauma, and the omnipresent yet latent potential for change. The inspiration for this body of work comes from the social, political and historical events of the artist's life during the chaos of the Chilean coup d'état.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Feb. 28

Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today

This exhibition presents dynamic women designers and artists from the mid-20th century and today making groundbreaking commercial and industrial designs, maintaining craft traditions and incorporating new aesthetics into fine art.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through March 13

Celebrating Photography at the National Gallery of Art: Recent Gifts

Marking the culmination of a year-long celebration of photography at the museum, this installation brings together an exquisite group of gifts, ranging from innovative photographs made in the earliest years of the medium's history to key works by important 20th-century artists and contemporary pieces that examine the ways in which photography continues to shape our experience of the modern world.

National Gallery of Art


Through April 24

Postwar Germanic Expressions: Gifts from Michael Werner

The Phillips presents recently acquired gifts of German and Danish art to the museum's permanent collection, generously given by art collector Michael Werner. A selection from the 46 works are on view, painting, sculpture and works on paper by Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff, Per Kirkeby, Markus Lüpertz and A. R. Penck.

The Phillips Collection


Through May 15

Louise Bourgeois: No Exit

Louise Bourgeois's ties to surrealism and existentialism will be explored through 17 works on paper and four sculptures.

National Gallery of Art


Through June 5

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



Dec. 3 to 27

The Nutcracker

This celebrated production has become D.C.'s perennial holiday favorite. Set in historic Georgetown with historical figures and whimsical touches, this sumptuous rendition of the holiday classic showcases the grandeur of the Washington Ballet's international roster of dancers set against Tchaikovsky's majestic score. Please call for ticket information.

The Warner Theatre



Thu., Dec. 3, 4 p.m.

Dante Alighieri's 750th Birthday Anniversary

The Library of Congress European Division, in partnership with the Embassy of Italy, present a panel of distinguished scholars discussing Dante's Alighieri's 750th birthday anniversary and the great Italian poet's influence on music, American art and pop culture, philosophy, science and the law. Immediately following, at 5:30 p.m., a Dante Alighieri Collections display will showcase unique treasures in the library's collections relating to Dante.

Library of Congress

James Madison Building, 6th Floor


Thu., Dec. 3, 6:45 p.m.

An Evening with Rick Steves: Sharpen Your European Travel Skills

Popular travel expert Rick Steves — acclaimed for his bestselling guidebooks and public television series — shares strategies on how to make the most of every mile, minute and euro on your next European adventure. Tickets are $42; for information, visit

University of the District of Columbia UDC Auditorium


Mon., Dec. 7, 6:45 p.m.

Unlocking the Secrets of the Pharaohs

We can now look a pharaoh in the face. New imaging technology has offered some amazing insights into of the lives of ancient Egyptians when it was applied to the royal mummies in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Not only are scientists learning more about the age, cause of death, and medical conditions of pharaohs and queens, 3D imagining even allows experts to render detailed and lifelike representations of ancient royalty. Tickets are $35; for information, visit

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Tue., Dec. 8, 9:30 a.m.

Perspectives on Reform of Islamic Law

In recognition of Human Rights Day, the Law Library of Congress and the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division hosts a panel of Islamic scholars to explore new avenues and perspectives on Islamic law reform with a particular focus on reform within the framework of Islamic jurisprudence itself — as opposed to purely secular or "external" reform processes.

Library of Congress

James Madison Building


Thu., Dec. 10, 6:45 p.m.

Edith Piaf: Passion, With No Regrets

Legendary French singer Edith Piaf (1915-63) not only sang of love, loss and sorrow, she lived it. Known by adoring fans as "The Little Sparrow," she was discovered in the sordid Pigalle district in Paris and became a superstar in France almost overnight. Despite her success, her personal life was filled with despair, marked by addiction, debt, divorce and the deaths of her daughter and her greatest love. Tickets are $45; for information, visit

S. Dillon Ripley Center



Sat., Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Czech Christmas Market

The Embassy of the Czech Republic invites the public to celebrate the season with its annual Czech Christmas Market, which features beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments, exquisite handcrafted glass, Czech music, delicious Christmas cookies and mulled wine (svařák). Featured companies include Glassor, Topix Crystal Art and Bistro Bohem.

Embassy of the Czech Republic



Wed., Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.

Virgil Boutellis-Taft, Violinist

In this special all-French program dedicated to the victims of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, virtuoso violinist Virgil Boutellis-Taft is joined by pianist Yoonie Han for a concert featuring César Franck, Philippe Hersant, Debussy, Massenet and Saint-Saëns. Tickets are $80, including reception; for information, visit

Embassy of France


Sat., Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m.

Opera Camerata of Washington 25th Gala

Under the patronage of Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzon and his wife Maria Pilar de Pinzon, the Opera Camerata celebrates its 25th anniversary gala with a dinner and performance of Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca." The Opera Camerata of Washington DC offers both first-time and long-time fans of all ages a unique, intimate opera experience that combines world-class performances and orchestras with lavish receptions held in exclusive salon settings. Tickets are $250; for information, visit

Colombian Residence


Sun., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.

Calmus: Christmas Carols of the World

Experience the German a cappella quintet who holds the audience "spellbound with its artistry" (the Washington Post) as they sing traditional and contemporary holiday music. Tickets are $35.

Wolf Trap


Fri., Dec. 11, 7:15 p.m.

Christmas Gala at Embassy of Luxembourg

A tribute to "The Great American Songbook," singer Adrienne Haan's distinctive interpretations of these classics were arranged to complement her unique stage presence and vocal prowess. Tickets are $150, including buffet; for information, visit

Embassy of Luxembourg


Dec. 11 to 13

China National Traditional Orchestra: Rediscover Chinese Music

The China National Traditional Orchestra, a state-level ensemble administered by China's Ministry of Culture, carries forward the cultural tradition of Chinese national music by collecting the essence of folk music as well as contemporary works in performances at home and on tour throughout Europe and the United States. Tickets are $20 to $150.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Dec. 13 to 22

The Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas

This beloved holiday tradition from the Washington Chorus features Christmas classics, sing-alongs, the 200-voice chorus and the enchanting candlelight processional. Tickets are $18 to $72.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Dec. 14 to 24

The Choral Arts Society of Washington: A Choral Arts Christmas

"A Choral Arts Christmas" celebrates the holidays with a magical mix of seasonal classics, favorite sing-alongs and popular Christmas standards. The Dec. 14 concert will feature the SYC Ensemble Singers from Singapore, representing this year's Choral Arts embassy partner. Tickets are $15 to $69.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Dec. 17 to 20

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel's Messiah

Get in the holiday spirit with Handel's epic masterpiece, performed each year with a fresh perspective by the National Symphony Orchestra and acclaimed guest artists. Tickets are $15 to $89.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Fri., Dec. 18, 8 p.m.

Taste of the Holidays

One of today's leading clarinetists, the "king of crossover from Canada" Julian Milkis joins the Russian Ensemble Siberian Virtuosi for a performance that brings an international flavor to the holidays with a program of vibrant, colorful and mood-filled works ranging from baroque to classical to jazz genres. Tickets are $35 to $55.

GW Lisner Auditorium


Dec. 7 to Jan. 3

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

Returning to the Woolly stage, the Neo-Futurists race against the clock to perform 30 miniature plays in just 60 minutes — with new plays added every night. Audiences choose the order, so every performance is a unique experience in this eccentric mini-play showcase that's become a staple of Chicago's underground theater scene for more than 25 years. Tickets start at $35.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Dec. 12 to 20

Holiday Family Opera: Hansel and Greta

Complete with a cackling witch, enchanted fairies, dancing animals and an oversized gingerbread oven, the timeless Grimm brothers' fairytale returns for the holidays in the Washington National Opera's whimsical and neon-colored production. Tickets are $59 to $75.

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater


Through Dec. 13

Sorry and Regular Singing

The final plays in Richard Nelson's "The Apple Family Cycle" quartet explore the immediate present and evolving future of the United States. Over meals at the family homestead, the tensions and compromises, affections and resentments of the Apple family's lives play out against a rapidly changing America. Tickets are $49 to $96.

The Studio Theatre


Dec. 15 to Jan. 10

Matilda The Musical

Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, "Matilda The Musical" is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Tickets are $30 to $204.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Through Dec. 20

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival Production of Pericles

Pericles, Prince of Tyre, sets sail on an extraordinary journey through the decades and is blown from the coasts of Phoenicia to Greece and to Turkey. Chased by the wicked King of Antioch, Pericles finds his true love in Thaisa and loses her and their daughter Marina on the rough seas. Tickets are $35 to $75.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through Dec. 31

A Christmas Carol

Celebrated Washington stage actor Edward Gero returns for the seventh year to play Ebenezer Scrooge in the Michael Wilson adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic that the Washington Post hailed as "musically high-spirited" and "infectiously jolly." Tickets are $22 to $95.

Ford's Theatre


Through Jan. 3

Kiss Me, Kate

As they try to stage a musical version of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," sparks fly on and off stage between the show's director and his leading lady — and ex-wife. Add to the mix passionate young lovers, plus a few musically inclined gangsters' heavies, and the result is a sharp and witty night with some of Cole Porter's most immortal songs. Tickets are $20 to $118.

Shakespeare Theatre Company

Sidney Harman Hall


Through Jan. 3


Charles Dickens's unforgettable characters burst to life in the Tony Award-winning musical that blends the chaotic worlds of Victorian London with 2015 London to infuse a modern edge to the classic story about an innocent orphan living amongst double-dealing thieves and conmen. Please call for ticket information.

Arena Stage


Classifieds - December 2015

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Real Estate Classifieds - December 2015

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