December 2019

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Cover Story

Afghanistan's First Female Envoy
To U.S. Insists Peace Still Possible

a5.afghanistan.rahmani.portrait.home2Roya Rahmani, Kabul's first female ambassador to the U.S., can barely recall a single day of peace growing up in Afghanistan. While the U.S. has been fighting there for 18 years, "the reality is that for us, this war has lasted over 40 years," says Rahmani, who was born just before the Soviet invasion. But she insists that despite the long nightmare, "for the first time, we have the vision, the will and the human capital" to achieve peace. Read More

 


People of World Influence

Former U.S. Ambassador Speaks on
Foreign Policy in Age of Impeachment

a1.powi.brigety.portrait.gwu.homeFor Donald Trump, the State Department has largely been an afterthought — until now. U.S. diplomats have taken center stage — and come under fire — during the president's impeachment hearings, prompting former ambassadors such as Reuben Brigety to come to their defense. Read More


Anger Boils Over

Inequality, Corruption, Fuel Unrest
Throughout Latin America

a2.latin.america.morales.coco.home

From Santiago to Quito to La Paz, massive and often violent protests sparked by contentious elections, constitutional crises and worsening inequality have thrown a good portion of Latin America — including several normally stable countries — into disarray. Read More


Elusive Justice

People Fight to Hold Perpetrators
Of War Crimes in Syria to Account

a3.syria.children.war.homeFor the victims of human rights abuses in Syria, hopes are slim that they will ever see justice, but experts say that without addressing past horrors, there can be no future for the war-ravaged nation. Read More


Belarus's Balancing Act

'Europe's Last Dictator' Walks Fine
Line Between Russia and the West

a4.belarus.lukashenko.speech.homeWhile Ukraine is in the spotlight because of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, a recent report suggests Ukraine's neighbor Belarus should be receiving more attention from the U.S. and its allies. Read More


The U.S.-China Standoff

As Trade War Drags on, Beijing and
Washington Cement Competitor Status

a6.manafort.trump.putin.homeAs 2019 comes to a close, the trade war between the U.S. and China is far from over. If anything, China expert Elizabeth Economy says it could augur a new era of relations between the world's two largest economies — one that for this administration, rightly emphasizes competition over cooperation. Read More


   

Foreign Policy in an Age of Impeachment: A Former U.S. Ambassador Speaks Out

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By Eric Ham

Read more: Foreign Policy in an Age of Impeachment: A Former U.S. Ambassador Speaks Out
   

Inequality, Corruption, Other Grievances Fuel Unrest Throughout Latin America

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Inequality, Corruption, Other Grievances Fuel Unrest Throughout Latin America
   

Groups and Governments Work to Hold Syrian Perpetrators of War Crimes to Account

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By Jonathan Gorvett

Read more: Groups and Governments Work to Hold Syrian Perpetrators of War Crimes to Account
   

‘Europe’s Last Dictator’ Walks Fine Line Between Russia and the West

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By Deryl Davis

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Afghanistan’s First Female Ambassador to U.S. Insists Peace Is Still Possible

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Afghanistan’s First Female Ambassador to U.S. Insists Peace Is Still Possible
   

As Trade War Drags on, Beijing and Washington Cement Competitor Status

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By Aileen Torres-Bennett

Read more: As Trade War Drags on, Beijing and Washington Cement Competitor Status
   

Letter to the Editor

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By Cari

Read more: Letter to the Editor
   

‘Live Dangerously’ Shows Women Breaking New Ground — By Reclaiming It

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By Mackenzie Weigner

Read more: ‘Live Dangerously’ Shows Women Breaking New Ground — By Reclaiming It
   

Signature’s Heart-Pounding ‘Chorus Line’ Stands Up to the Test of Time

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By Lisa Troshinsky

Read more: Signature’s Heart-Pounding ‘Chorus Line’ Stands Up to the Test of Time
   

‘Bonnard to Vuillard’ Draws on Collection of Art by Short-Lived Nabis

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By Mackenzie Weigner

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‘Radical Link’ Looks at Asylum as Both an Archaic Cage and Modern-Day Escape

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By Anna Gawel and Kate Oczypok

Read more: ‘Radical Link’ Looks at Asylum as Both an Archaic Cage and Modern-Day Escape
   

Films - December 2019

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By Cari

Languages

Bulgarian

Dutch

French

Hungarian

Lithuanian

Portuguese

Slovenian


Croatian

English

Georgian

Italian

Maltese

Russian

Spanish


Czech

Estonian

German

Japanese

Mandarin

Silent

Danish

Finnish

Greek

Korean

Polish

Slovak

Bulgarian

The Father

Directed by Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov

(Bulgaria/Greece, 2019, 87 min.)

Pavel is seemingly cold and indifferent to the passing of his mother Valentina, but his father Vasil is devastated and convinced her spirit still remains after a funeral attendee claims to have received a call from Valentina on her cellphone during the burial. Now Pavel must put his life on hold to help his father process the loss and begrudgingly come to terms with his own grief (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 13 to 18

 

Croatian

Mali

Directed by Antonio Nuić

(Croatia, 2018, 90 min.)

Frenki is a drug dealer, and four years in prison haven't changed him much. With his wife on her deathbed, his in-laws are determined to get custody of Mali, Frenki's teenaged son. But Mali loves his dad — and his unorthodox parenting style (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 12 to 17

 

Czech

Bear with Us

(Chata na prodej)

Directed by Tomás Pavlícek

(Czech Republic, 2018, 77 min.)

A family decides to sell their lovely cottage, so the mother suggests they all spend one last day there before the sale takes place. During their time together, issues among the members of the family inevitably come out into the open in this deliberately paced comedy.

The Avalon Theatre

Wed., Dec. 11, 8 p.m.

 

The Painted Bird

Directed by Václav Marhoul

(Czech Republic/Slovakia/Ukraine, 2019, 169 min.)

Based on the celebrated novel by Jerzy Kosinski, this staggering work of beauty follows the brutal hardships of a young, Jewish boy as he wanders the countryside during World War II in search of some respite from the atrocities of daily life (Czech, German and Russian; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 15, 6:05 p.m.

 

Danish

Out of Tune

Directed by Frederikke Aspöck

(Denmark, 2019, 89 min.)

Newly imprisoned celebrity financier Markus gets a rude awakening on his first day behind bars when he's greeted with a beatdown from a biker gang. Scared into voluntary solitary confinement, he reluctantly joins his fellow inmates in the choir, where his ego compels him to reach the top of the established hierarchy (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 10, 7:45 p.m.,

Sat., Dec. 21, 3 p.m.

Dutch

Instinct

Directed by Halina Reijn

(Netherlands, 2019, 108 min.)

Psychologist Nicoline accepts an assignment in a men's rehab facility housing violent sexual criminals. There, she takes on the case of Iris, a handsome and charismatic manipulator who has served five years for rape and assault. Professionally, Nicoline doubts that Idris is reformed, yet personally, against all better judgment, she experiences an undeniable attraction to him (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 7 to 12

 

English

63 UP

Directed by Michael Apted

(U.K., 2019, 180 min.)

Director Michael Apted returns with the latest installment of his groundbreaking documentary series, unmatched in the history of cinema for its astonishing and revelatory longevity. The original "7 UP" was broadcast in 1964 and featured 14 British children talking about their hopes and dreams for the future. Subsequent visits every seven years over six decades have documented the group as they grew up, became adults and entered middle-age, dealing with everything life has thrown at them in between.

Landmark's Theatres

Opens Fri., Dec. 13

 

The Aeronauts

Directed by Tom Harper

(U.K./U.S., 2019, 100 min.)

In 1862, daredevil pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) and pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) find themselves in an epic fight for survival while attempting to make discoveries in a gas balloon.

The Avalon Theatre

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Opens Fri., Dec. 6

 

Bait

Directed by Mark Jenkin

(U.K., 2019, 89 min.)

Set in a once-thriving Cornish fishing village, "Bait" tracks the ongoing war between locals and tourists through the eyes of a proud fisherman forced to sell his boat and relinquish his home to a fancy London family looking for a weekend getaway spot (part of the AFI European Union Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 20, 5:45 p.m.,

Sat., Dec. 21, 5 p.m.

 

Beats

Directed by Brian Welsh

(U.K., 2019, 101 min.)

In this bittersweet, nostalgic view of '90s rave culture in suburban Scotland, 15-year-old Jonno — against his parents' wishes — is best friends with likable lunkhead Spanner, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks (part of the AFI European Union Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

Mon., Dec. 9, 9:20 p.m.,

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

 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Directed by Marielle Heller

(China/U.S., 2019)

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in this timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of the real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.

Angelika Mosaic

Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

The Avalon Theatre

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

 

Bombshell

Directed by Jay Roach

(Canada/U.S., 2019, 108 min.)

A group of women decide to take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.

Angelika Mosaic

Opens Fri., Dec. 20

 

Dark Waters

Directed by Todd Haynes

(U.S., 2019, 126 min.)

Inspired by a shocking true story, a tenacious attorney uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths due to one of the world's largest corporations. In the process, he risks everything — his future, his family and his own life — to expose the truth.

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

The Good Liar

Directed by Bill Condon

(U.S., 2019, 109 min.)

Consummate con man Roy Courtnay has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish, worth millions. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes.

Angelika Mosaic

 

The Ground Beneath My Feet

Directed by Marie Kreutzer

(Austria, 2019, 108 min.)

Ruthlessly efficient and seamlessly together Lola is thriving as a successful business consultant. But she is also in the midst of a secret relationship with her boss Elise and struggling to support her sister, who is battling long-term mental illness (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 15 to 18

 

Harriet

Directed by Kasi Lemmons

(U.S., 2019, 125 min.)

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes.

Angelika Pop-Up

Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

The Avalon Theatre

 

A Hidden Life

Directed by Terrence Malick

(Germany/U.S., 2019, 173 min.)

Based on real events, Franz Jägerstätter refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife and children that keeps his spirit alive (English, German and Italian).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 7, 3:30 p.m.

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark's Theatres

Opens Fri., Dec. 20

 

The Irishman

Directed by Martin Scorsese

(U.S., 2019, 209 min.)

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century.

AFI Silver Theatre

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

Jojo Rabbit

Directed by Taika Waititi

(Germany/U.S., 2019, 108 min.)

This World War II satire follows a lonely German boy named Jojo whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic.

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

The Lighthouse

Directed by Robert Eggers

(U.S./Brazil, 2019, 109 min.)

This is the hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

West End Cinema

 

Little Joe

Directed by Jessica Hausner

(Austria/U.K./Germany, 2019, 105 min.)

Alice, a single mother, is a dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. She has engineered a very special crimson flower that, if fed properly and spoken to regularly, makes its owner happy. Alice takes one home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe, but as it grows, so too does Alice's suspicion that her new creations may not be as harmless as their nickname suggests.

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Opens Fri., Dec. 6

 

Little Women

Directed by Greta Gerwig

(U.S., 2019, 134 min.)

Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark's Theatres

Opens Tue., Dec. 25

 

Mr. Jones

Directed by Agnieszka Holland

(Poland/U.K./Ukraine, 2019, 119 min.)

The latest film from Agnieszka tells the real-life story of Gareth Jones, a Welsh journalist who made a tour of the Soviet Union in 1931 but failed to get the interview with Stalin he desperately wanted. In 1933, he scored a major scoop as the first international journalist with firsthand coverage of Hitler's ascension to chancellor. Then he undertook his most daring investigation ever: slipping into Ukraine incognito to report on the widespread famine taking place there (English, Ukrainian, Russian and Welsh; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 15, 12:30 p.m.,

Tue. Dec. 17, 7:10 p.m.

 

Official Secrets

Directed by Gavin Hood

(U.K./U.S., 2019, 112 min.)

In this true story, a British whistleblower leaks information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the U.N. Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This film is presented by the Center for International Policy and features a brief post-film discussion. To RSVP, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Tue., Dec. 10, 6 p.m.

 

Patrick

Directed by Tim Mielants

(Belgium, 2019, 97 min.)

Meet Patrick (Kevin Janssens, THE ARDENNES), the handyman and carpenter at his family's nudist camp, who has just lost his father — but more importantly, his hammer. On a mission to get back his prized possession, he must fend off the swarming buzzards who will stop at nothing to take his dad's vacant seat as owner of the camp (English, Dutch, French and German; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 21, 7 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 22, 5:30 p.m.

 

Péitruss

Directed by Max Jacoby

(Luxembourg, 2019, 93 min.)

Since she's started a passionate new relationship with the handsome and mysterious Joakim, life is smiling back at Lara again. Her marriage to detective Toni is now a distant memory. But when Toni accuses Joakim of having committed a series of unsolved murders, Lara's world is thrown into chaos (English, German and Luxembourgish; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Mon., Dec. 16, 9:30 p.m.,

Tue., Dec. 17, 3 p.m.

 

Queen & Slim

Directed by Melina Matsoukas

(Canada/U.S., 2019, 132 min.)

Slim and Queen's first date takes an unexpected turn when a policeman pulls them over for a minor traffic violation and Slim shoots the officer in self-defense. When a video of the incident goes viral, the unwitting outlaws soon become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people all across the country.

Angelika Mosaic

Angelika Pop-Up

Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

 

The Report

Directed by Scott Z. Burns

(U.S., 2019, 119 min.)

Idealistic Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones, tasked by his boss to lead an investigation into the CIA's post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, uncovers shocking secrets.

The Avalon Theatre

West End Cinema

 

Rosie

Directed by Paddy Breathnach

(Ireland, 2018, 86 min.)

When the landlord unexpectedly sells their rental home, Rosie, John Paul and their young family find themselves homeless. Cramming their belongings into their car, the family begins a daily search for a place to sleep (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 13 to 16

 

Shooting the Mafia

Directed by Kim Longinotto

(Ireland, 2019, 94 min.)

Sicilian photographer Letizia Battaglia began a lifelong battle with the Mafia when she first dared to point her camera at a brutally slain victim. A woman whose passions led her to abandon traditional family life and become a photojournalist in the 1970s, she fearlessly and artfully captured everyday Sicilian life — from weddings and funerals to the grisly murders of ordinary citizens— to tell the narrative of how the community she loved in her native Palermo was forced into silence by the Cosa Nostra.

West End Cinema

Opens Fri., Dec. 6

 

Sorry We Missed You

Directed by Ken Loach

(U.K./France/Belgium, 2019, 100 min.)

Ken Loach looks at a facet of life in contemporary Britain through the harsh realities of the gig economy and the lens of one family struggling to make ends meet in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 6, 7:20 p.m.

 

The Traitor

Directed by Marco Bellocchio

(Italy/France/Brazil/Germany, 2019, 145 min.)

Veteran Italian master Marco Bellocchio crafts a gangster epic for the ages with this powerful profile of real-life mafia boss-turned-pentito Tommaso Buscetta, whose work as an informant led to the largest, most public prosecution of the Sicilian mafia in Italian history (English, Italian, Sicilian and Portuguese; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 14, 3:30 p.m.

 

The Two Popes

Directed by Fernando Meirelles

(U.K./Italy/Argentina/U.S., 2019, 125 min.)

Behind Vatican walls, the conservative Pope Benedict and the liberal future Pope Francis must find common ground to forge a new path for the Catholic Church a(English, Latin, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and German).

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Opens Fri., Dec. 6

 

Variações – Guardian Angel

Directed by João Maia

(Portugal, 2019, 109 min.)

Portuguese pop music icon António Variações gets his due in this long-awaited biopic, which charts the singer's unlikely rise to fame before his untimely death from HIV/AIDS in 1984 (English, Portuguese and Dutch; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

Thu., Dec. 12, 2:45 p.m.

 

The Whistlers

Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu

(Romania/France/Germany/Sweden, 2019, 97 min.)

This twisty neo-noir caper has it all: a corrupt cop, a femme fatale, a Mexican mobster, government surveillance, double-crosses galore, a mattress full of money and, of course, an indigenous whistling language called "el Silbo Gomero" (English, Romanian and Spanish; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.,

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

 

Zombi Child

Directed by Bertrand Bonello

(France, 2019, 103 min.)

Mixing zombie lore with mean-girl angst and a smart examination of France's colonial history, Bertrand Bonello (expertly shifts between 1960s Haiti and contemporary France to meditate on the intricacies of race, class and cultural appropriation (English, French and Haitian; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., Dec. 13, 9:45 p.m.,

Thu., Dec. 19, 7:35 p.m.

 

Estonian

The Little Comrade

Directed by Moonika Siimets

(Estonia, 2018, 99 min.)

In the midst of Stalinist tyranny, 6-year-old Leelo's mother is sent to a prison camp. Haunted by her mother's last words telling her to be good, Leelo vows to be on her best behavior in the confusing grown-up world, in hopes that it will bring her mother back (Estonian and Russian; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 6 to 11

 

Finnish

Maria's Paradise

Directed by Zaida Bergroth

(Finland/Estonia, 2019, 110 min.)

In this chilling tale based on a real-life scandal from 1920s Finland, charismatic cult leader Maria Åkerblom leads her devout followers to Helsinki. Among them is the adoring teenager Salome, who was orphaned at a young age and knows nothing of life outside her community in their rural farmhouse. When Salome befriends local sex worker Malin, her worldview is challenged, and she is torn between the promise of newfound freedom and Maria's dangerous, all-consuming love (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 5 to 8

 

French

Alice and the Mayor

Directed by Nicolas Pariser

(France/Belgium, 2019, 113 min.)

After 30 years in politics, the mayor of Lyon, has become a creature of habit: over-cautious, bureaucratic to a fault and lacking the passion and ideas he once had. Enter Alice, a recent Oxford grad with a degree in philosophy. Inspired, for the first time in years, by his conversations with Alice, the mayor creates a new position for her before she can be slated for reassignment: to be his ideas person (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

Sun., Dec. 8, 3:15 p.m.

 

Deerskin

Directed by Quentin Dupieux

(France, 2019, 77 min.)

In this daring and hilarious tale, a troubled man takes his obsession with his designer deerskin jacket (admittedly, a very nice coat) to murderous extremes (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 6 to 11

 

Les Misérables

Directed by Ladj Ly

(France, 2019, 102 min.)

Inspired by the riots which swept the Parisian banlieue in 2005, Ladj Ly's urgent, frenetic debut centers on three members of an anti-crime unit and their tense relationship with the community in the tough Montfermeil district, where they are charged with patrolling the neighborhood and keeping the peace (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

Tue., Dec. 10, 7:20 p.m.,

Sat., Dec. 14, 1 p.m.

 

On a Magical Night

Directed by Christophe Honoré

(France/Belgium/Luxembourg, 2019, 86 min.)

In this screwball sex comedy, Maria is a law professor with a good eye for handsome young men, and no qualms about pursuing them. Richard. Maria's husband of 20 years, is less than keen on her extramarital interests, and when he discovers her latest infidelity, it's the last straw. Maria retreats to a hotel across the street where she can gaze down on her apartment and keep an eye on her pained husband. But waiting for her in the room are the ghosts of affairs past (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 7 to 12

 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Directed by Céline Sciamma

(France, 2019, 119 min.)

In rugged, 18th-century Brittany, when budding painter Marianne is commissioned by an Italian comtesse to paint a portrait of her soon-to-be-wed daughter, her assignment is complicated by the fact that she must not disclose the reason for her visit to their remote coastal abode, where the two women form a close bond (French and Italian; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 8, 8:15 p.m.,

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

 

The Truth

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda

(France/Japan, 2019, 106 min.)

With her American husband Hank (Ethan Hawke) in tow, Lumir (Juliette Binoche) goes to visit her mother Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) in her beautiful country home to celebrate the release of Fabienne's memoir chronicling her lifelong career in front of the camera. Meanwhile, Hank, the TV actor who speaks no French, is just happy to be along for the ride (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 14, 8:30 p.m.,

Thu., Dec. 19, 7:20 p.m.

 

Young Ahmed

Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne

(Belgium/France, 2019, 90 min.)

Ahmed, 13, a psychologically fragile Brussels teen, begins to fall under the spell of a charismatic imam who preaches an extremist, intolerant interpretation of Islam (French and Arabic; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 14, 5:15 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 18, 7:20 p.m.

 

Georgian

And Then We Danced

Directed by Levan Akin

(Sweden/Georgia/France, 2019, 105 min.)

Levan Gelbakhiani dazzles as Merab, the star student at Georgia's national dance academy whose customary role as the leading male dancer is usurped by the arrival of a talented newcomer (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

Sun., Dec. 8, 7:10 p.m.,

Mon., Dec. 9, 5 p.m.

 

German

I Was At Home, But

Directed by Angela Schanelec

(Germany/Serbia, 2019, 105 min.)

Astrid, a Berlin mother of two, faces a crisis after her 13-year-old son disappears, only to reappear a week later, seemingly unharmed, with the event going largely unexplained (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Wed., Dec. 11, 9:15 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 15, 8:30 p.m.

 

Lara

Directed by Jan Ole Gerster

(Germany, 2019, 98 min.)

It's Lara's 60th birthday, and she has every reason to celebrate: Tonight, her son Viktor will give the most important piano concert of his career. Yet despite the fact that she paved the way for his musical success, Viktor has been unreachable for weeks, and nothing indicates that his mother will be welcome at his debut performance (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 21, 1 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 22, 3:30 p.m.

 

Pelican Blood

Directed by Katrin Gebbe

(Germany/Bulgaria, 2019, 121 min.)

Wiebke and her adopted 9-year-old daughter Nicolina live alone on an idyllic horse farm. After many years of waiting, Wiebke now has the chance to adopt another girl, 5-year-old Raya, but what begins as a harmonious new family takes a turn for the worse when Raya's increasing aggression grows violent (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 6 to 11

 

Greek

Pause

Directed by Tonia Mishiali

(Cyprus/Greece, 2018, 96 min.)

Locked for years in a stifling routine with her uncaring but demanding husband Costas, fiftyish housewife Elpida begins to see things in a new light as she enters menopause, with visions of retribution playing out in her mind, perhaps inspired by the steady diet of thrillers she watches in the evenings (Greek and English; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 7 to 9

 

Zizotek

Directed by Vardis Marinakis

(Greece, 2019, 92 min.)

Nine-year-old Jason's world is shattered when he is abandoned by his mother on an afternoon trip to the local folk festival. Panicked and afraid, he wanders into the woods and into the cabin of a reclusive, bearded man with a shotgun who reluctantly takes him in (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 6 to 11

 

Hungarian

Those Who Remained

Directed by Barnabás Tóth

(Hungary, 2019, 83 min.)

In 1948 Budapest, having survived the war's extermination camps, Dr. Kőrner has revived his medical practice but is still haunted by the loss of his wife and sons. He begins an unconventional but vitally supportive friendship with Klára, a 16-year-old survivor of the camps who is full of life but who has not yet fully processed her own trauma (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m.

 

Italian

Dafne

Directed by Federico Bondi

(Italy, 2019, 94 min.)

Dafne, a bright young woman with Down syndrome, finds her stable family life upended by the unexpected death of her mother. As Dafne's father struggles with his grief, Dafne finds her own way to process the loss, assuming increasing responsibility at home and at work (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatare

Dec. 10 to 16

 

Martin Eden

Directed by Pietro Marcello

(Italy/France/Germany, 2019, 129 min.)

Filmmaker Pietro Marcello transposes Jack London's 1909 American novel about a rugged, radical individual — seaman-turned-novelist Martin Eden — to a Neapolitan port city in the late 20th century (Italian, Neapolitan and French; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 15, 3:30 p.m.,

Mon., Dec. 16, 7 p.m.

 

Japanese

13 Assassins

Directed by Takashi Miike

(U.K./Japan, 2010, 125 min.)

DJ 2-Tone Jones, who performed to a packed house during the Freer's 2018 Made in Hong Kong Film Festival, returns with another "Can I Kick It?" performance, this time with a bloody historical epic directed by the notorious Takashi Miike. In this remake of a 1963 film based on actual historical events, 13 of the best samurai in Japan are recruited to take down a ruthless warlord who is oppressing his people.

Freer Gallery of Art

Thu., Dec. 5, 7 p.m.

 

The Minamata Mural

Directed by Noriaki Tsuchimoto

(Japan, 1981, 111 min.)

After a handful of groundbreaking films detailing the tragedy and suffering of the mercury-poisoned Japanese town of Minamata, documentary master Noriaki Tsuchimoto revisits the subject of Minamata through the eyes of the celebrated husband-and-wife painting duo Iri and Toshi Maruki.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Dec. 8, 2 p.m.

 

A Story from Chikamatsu

Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

(Japan, 1954, 102 min.)

Based on a classic of 18th-century Japanese drama, this film traces the injustices that befall the wife of a Kyoto scrollmaker and his apprentice after each is unfairly accused of wrongdoing. Bound by fate in an illicit, star-crossed romance, they go on the run in search of refuge from the punishment prescribed them: death.

Freer Gallery of Art

Wed., Dec. 4, 2 p.m.

 

Korean

Parasite

Directed by Joon-ho Bong

(South Korea, 2019, 132 min.)

Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. But when a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims' newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out.

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

Lithuanian

Nova Lituania

Directed by Karolis Kaupinis

(Lithuania, 2019, 96 min.)

In the late 1930s, with a potential war looming on the horizon for the young country of Lithuania, geographer Feliksas Gruodis convinces the prime minister to establish a tropical colony overseas in case of emergency, and the two begin meeting in secret to make his dream a reality (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 5 to 10

 

Maltese

The Weeping House of Qala

Directed by Mark Doneo

(Malta, 2018, 85 min.)

In the quaint village of Qala in Gozo, Emily Edevane was abandoned, along with her three small children, by her husband. No one seems to have heard of them since. Four decades later, a Maltese documentary crew agrees to spend a day at the now desolate and decaying mansion, hoping to find out what became of the family (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 15 to 18

 

Mandarin

White Snake

Directed by Amp Wong and Ji Zhao

(China/U.S., 2019, 99 min.)

In this visually stunning new take on a classic legend, from Light Chaser Animation, one of China's premiere animation studios, a young woman named Blanca is saved by Xuan, a poor snake catcher from a nearby village. She has lost her memory, but learns she has magical powers. Together they go on a journey to discover her real identity, meeting many adventures, and developing deeper feelings for one another along the way.

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

Polish

Corpus Christi

Directed by Jan Komasa

(Poland, 2019, 115 min.)

When 20-year-old Daniel is released from a youth detention center, his dream of entering the priesthood is squashed by the weight of his violent criminal record. Instead, he is sent to work at a carpenter's workshop in a rural town, where the community is struggling to heal from a recent tragedy. Mistaken for a priest in a strange turn of events, Daniel decides to run with it, gradually becoming a beloved fixture in the community (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 5 to 12

 

Portuguese

The Domain

Directed by Tiago Guedes

(Portugal/France, 2019, 166 min.)

In this epic story, the lives of three generations of landowners unfold on the south bank of the River Tagus, against the backdrop of several tumultuous decades of Portuguese history (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Dec. 15, 7:45 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 18, 8:30 p.m.

 

Russian

Oleg

Directed by Juris Kursietis

(Latvia/Lithuania/Belgium/France, 2019, 108 min.)

fter Oleg, a young Latvian butcher living and working in Brussels, finds himself out of a job, he falls under the spell of Andrzej, a fast-talking, Polish, small-time crook he meets at a party. What starts as a promising opportunity to get back on his feet soon turns into anything but as Oleg tries to escape his newfound life of crime (Russian, Polish, Latvian, English, French and Flemish; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 6 to 12

 

Silent

Broken Blossoms

Directed by D.W. Griffith

(U.S., 1919, 90 min.)

Set in London's East End, this moody fog-bound tale is a tender love story, a tragic melodrama and a prescient study in immigrant relations.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Dec. 15, 2 p.m.

 

The Children of the Dead

Directed by Kelly Copper, Pavol Liska

(Austria, 2019, 90 min.)

Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek's 666-page novel "The Children of the Dead" depicts a zombie uprising highlighted by conveniently forgotten figures from Austria's recent past, both Nazis and Jews alike. As realized for the screen by producer Ulrich Seidl, Jelinek's scabrous novel becomes a most unusual modern-day silent film, featuring an amateur but very game cast (part of the AFI European Union Showcase).

Sat., Dec. 14, 10:45 p.m.,

Wed., Dec. 18, 10 p.m.,

Thu., Dec. 19, 9:45 p.m.

 

Slovak

Let There Be Light

Directed by Marko Škop

(Slovakia/Czech Republic, 2019, 93 min.)

Milan, a father of three, does construction work in Germany in order to provide for his family back in Slovakia. While visiting home over Christmas, he discovers that his eldest son is a member of a paramilitary youth group and has been involved in the bullying and death of a classmate — and now Milan must decide what to do (part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 16 to 22

 

Slovanian

Half-Sister

Directed by Damjan Kozole

(Slovenia/Serbia/Republic of Macedonia, 2019, 105 min.)

Neža is going back to school and Irena is getting a divorce. Despite their past grievances and outspoken hatred for one another, the two half-sisters decide to rent a flat together in the capital city of Ljubljana (Slovenian and Albanian; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

Dec. 8 to 12

 

Stories from the Chestnut Woods

Directed by Gregor Božič

(Slovenia, 2019, 81 min.)

This touching homage to a lost way of life unfolds in a decaying forest on the Yugoslav-Italian border in the years after World War II. In these decaying surroundings, twp lonely souls share fond memories — transformed into imaginative tales — and melancholic contemplations of their futures (Slovenian and Italian; part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Dec. 14 to 19

 

Spanish

The August Virgin

Directed by Jonás Trueba

(Spain, 2019, 125 min.)

On the verge of turning 33, Eva decides to spend her August in Madrid, where the heat and holiday festivities drive most locals to abandon the city. Seeking small revelations from the world around her, Eva embarks on a journey of self-discovery that unfolds on screen as a joyous, magical summer tale (part of the AFI European Union Showcase).

AFI Silver Theatre

Wed., Dec. 18, 7 p.m.,

Thu., Dec. 19, 5 p.m.

 

Pain & Glory

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

(Spain, 2019, 113 min.)

Antonio Banderas plays Salvador Mallo, a film director in physical decline who reflects on his past as his present comes crashing down around him.

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

West End Cinema

   

Events - December 2019

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EVENT CATEGORIES

Art

Theater

Dance

Discussions

Music

ART

 

Dec. 6 to Jan. 3

Recollection: Reinterpreting Tradition and Heritage

In this group exhibition of painting, photography and sculpture works, five Korean artists radically reinterpret a variety of classic forms into the visual language of contemporary art. Through vastly different artistic approaches, materials and subject matter, Jaehyug Choi, Soomin Ham, Hyeon Suk Her, Doo Yeon Jung and Yoohyun Kim each grapple in personal terms with the apparent contradiction of a modern Korean society still deeply rooted in its cultural history. Whether those bonds to the past are merely added weight or a strengthening foundation is up to each artist to decide.

Korean Cultural Center

 

Through Dec. 14

Moves Like Water: New Curators Open the Corcoran Legacy Collection

This exhibition contains select paintings and photographs from the collection of 9,000 artworks the AU Museum received as a gift from the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Following the closure of the Corcoran, more than 19,456 works from the collection were distrubted to museums and institutions in Washington, D.C. This is the first in-depth exhibition at AU Museum of work from the collection and is inspired by Walter Hopps, briefly the director of the Corcoran and an American curator of contemporary art.

American University Museum

 

Through Dec. 15

Ann-Sofi Sidén – After the Fact

Ann-Sofi Sidén is one of Sweden's most internationally renowned contemporary artists. She puts herself in the center of her projects, often with provoking statements about society and the human condition. The works presented in House of Sweden include three ways of looking at the female body. They independently carve out their own narrative space and yet converge by depicting an experience either happening in the periphery or in the hidden, challenging preconceived ideas of what a woman is or should be.

House of Sweden

 

Through Dec. 15

Fast Fashion/Slow Art

"Fast Fashion/Slow Art" scrutinizes today's garment industry. A diverse group of emerging and established contemporary artists and filmmakers including Julia Brown, Cat Mazza, Hito Steyerl and Rosemarie Trockel explore issues of waste, consumerism and the human cost of mass production through 11 films and video installations.

GW Art Galleries

 

Through Dec. 15

Swedish Dads by Johan Bävman

The photo exhibition portraits 45 fathers who belong to the relatively small percentage of fathers in Sweden who choose to stay at home with their children for at least six months. Swedish photographer Johan Bävman examines why these fathers have chosen to stay at home with their children and how their relationship with their partners and their children has changed as a result. The exhibition aims to show the effects of gender equality on parenting, both for an individual and for society.

House of Sweden

 

Through Jan. 5

By the Light of the Silvery Moon: A Century of Lunar Photographs

The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. Photography played a significant role both in preparing for the mission and in shaping the cultural consciousness of the event. An exhibition of some 50 works will include a selection of photographs from the unmanned Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter missions that led up to Apollo 11.

National Gallery of Art

 

Through Jan. 5

Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination

Imagine an apocalyptic landscape. It appears barren, devastated and hopeless. It is not. At the Renwick Gallery, internationally renowned artist Ginny Ruffner creates a seemingly bleak environment that suddenly evolves into a thriving floral oasis by combining traditional sculpture with augmented reality (AR) technology.

Renwick Gallery

 

Through Jan. 5

A Monument to Shakespeare

The Folger Shakespeare Library is throwing back the curtains on its origins and exciting future in an exhibition where visitors are invited to play, lounge, be curious and see more of the Folger Shakespeare Library than ever before. Among the treats: rummage through Henry Folger's desk and read the correspondences that brought the Folger to the nation's capital; explore large scale reproductions of Cret's detailed architectural drawings, newly digitized for this exhibition; and visit the first complete edition of Shakespeare's plays published in 1623.

Folger Shakespeare Library

 

Through Jan. 12

Everything is Palpitating: Rodolfo Abularach

From 1957, when the Art Museum of the Americas' (AMA) founding director José Gómez Sicre acquired several pieces by Guatemalan master Abularach for its collection, the artist has been prominently interwoven within the institution's history, as well as that of Guatemalan and Latin American art in a broader sense. This exhibition is an opportunity to gather one of the larger samplings of Abularach's works representing 60 years of his output. It surveys not only the artist's impact on the direction of art of the hemisphere in the 1950s to the 1970s, but also the role that AMA has played in its development.

Art Museum of the Americas

 

Through Jan. 12

Intersections: Los Carpinteros – Cuba Va!

Los Carpinteros (Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez) is an internationally acclaimed Cuban artist collective best known for merging architecture, sculpture, design, and drawing. From the outset in the early 1990s, Los Carpinteros's work has reflected on social transformations in post-revolutionary, socialist Cuba, offering critical commentary of dominant ideologies and power structures with humor and artistry.

The Phillips Collection

 

Through Jan. 12

Mid-Century Master: The Photography of Alfred Eisenstaedt

When he photographed her for the November 5, 1965 issue of Life magazine, Alfred Eisenstaedt cemented Marjorie Merriweather Post's place among the most notable people of the 20th century. Featuring nearly fifty Eisenstaedt photographs and ephemera from his career in photojournalism, focusing on his timeless images of life in the mid-20th-century and the era's most celebrated figures, this special exhibition will explore the relationship between Post and Eisenstaedt and the broader body of Eisenstaedt's work documenting life in the mid-twentieth century.

Hillwood Museum, Estate & Gardens

 

Through Jan. 20

Live Dangerously

"Live Dangerously" reveals the bold and dynamic ways in which female bodies inhabit and activate the natural world. Twelve groundbreaking photographers use humor, drama, ambiguity and innovative storytelling to illuminate the landscape as means of self-empowerment and personal expression. A major section of the exhibition showcases the performative and fantastical works of Janaina Tschäpe. For the first time, NMWA will exhibit all 100 large-scale photographs in the series "100 Little Deaths" (1996-2002), in which the artist stages her own body within sites from her travels around the world.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

 

Through Jan. 26

Bonnard to Vuillard: The Intimate Poetry of Everyday Life

This exhibition presents over 60 exquisite, rarely seen works by a leading group of European Post-Impressionist artists who ushered in a new form of artistic expression in the 1890s. Assuming the name "Nabis" (from the Hebrew navi, meaning "prophet"), its members shared a belief in art's intimate connection to everyday life.

The Phillips Collection

 

Through Jan. 26

None Swifter Than These: 100 Years of Diplomatic Couriers

Learn more about the U.S. Diplomatic Courier Service, which in wartime and peacetime carries the sensitive materials, equipment and information that make diplomacy possible. Today, the State Department's 100 badged diplomatic couriers travel the globe safeguarding our nation's most sensitive information and materials. They constantly trouble-shoot and innovate to ensure secure logistic supply chains while supervising the delivery of classified equipment and documents, as well as secure construction materials to nearly every nation where U.S. diplomats work.

U.S. Postal Museum

 

Through Jan. 26

The Touch of Color: Pastels at the National Gallery of Art

Featuring approximately 70 exquisite examples drawn entirely from the permanent collection, "The Touch of Color: Pastels at the National Gallery of Art" traces the history of pastel from the Renaissance to the 21st century and examines the many techniques that artists have developed to work with this colorful and versatile medium.

National Gallery of Art

 

Through Feb. 17

Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain

This is the first major exhibition held outside Spain to celebrate the expressive art of the most important sculptor active on the Iberian Peninsula during the first half of the 16th century, Alonso Berruguete, featuring an impressive range of more than 40 works from across his career, including examples of his earliest paintings from his time in Italy, where he trained.

National Gallery of Art

 

Through March 8

Visual Memory: Home + Place

This mid-career survey of multimedia artists Scherezade García and iliana emilia García explores how each artist reflects upon constructed notions of human geography and history in a creative multidisciplinary approach. Generating a provocative and incisive rethinking about the possibilities of visual memory, they engage with timeless universal concerns about global migration, settlement and the spaces we occupy.

Art Museum of the Americas

 

Through May 1

Women: A Century of Change

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the U.S. constitutional amendment confirming women's right to vote, this powerful new exhibition and book from National Geographic showcases iconic women around the world. The exhibition's stunning photographs, drawn from National Geographic's unparalleled image collection, span nine decades and feature a myriad of countries.

National Geographic Museum

 

Through May 25

Chiura Obata: American Modern

Chiura Obata (1885-1975) ranks among the most significant Japanese American cultural artists and figures of the 20th century. Best known for his majestic views of the American West, Obata brought a distinctive trans-Pacific style to the arts community of California as an artist and teacher. This major traveling retrospective presents the most comprehensive survey to date of his acclaimed and varied body of work, from bold landscape paintings of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park to intimate drawings of his experiences of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

 

Through July 5

I Am... Contemporary Women Artists of Africa

Taking its name from a 1970's feminist anthem, "I Am... Contemporary Women Artists of Africa" draws upon a selection of artworks by women artists from the National Museum of African Art's permanent collection to reveal a more contemporary feminism that recognizes the contributions of women to the most pressing issues of their times. With experimental and sophisticated use of diverse media, the 27 featured artists offer insightful and visually stunning approaches to matters of community, faith, the environment, politics, colonial encounters, racism, identity and more.

National Museum of African Art

 

Through Sept. 7, 2020

Pat Steir: Color Wheel

The Hirshhorn will host the largest painting installation to date by the acclaimed abstract painter Pat Steir. The exhibition is an expansive new suite of paintings by the artist, spanning the entire perimeter of the Museum's second-floor inner-circle galleries, extending nearly 400 linear feet.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

 

Through Sept. 13, 2020

Lee Ufan: Open Dimension

"Lee Ufan: Open Dimension" is an ambitious site-specific commission by the celebrated Korean artist Lee Ufan. The expansive installation, featuring 10 new sculptures from the artist's signature and continuing Relatum series, marks Lee Ufan's largest single outdoor sculpture project in the US, the first exhibition of his work in the nation's capital, and the first time in the Hirshhorn's 45-year history that its 4.3-acre outdoor plaza has been devoted, almost in its entirety, to the work of a single artist.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

 

Through Oct. 12, 2020

Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection

Featuring the recent gift of over 50 major historical works, including more than 35 seminal works by Marcel Duchamp, this exhibition comprises an unparalleled selection of art, thoughtfully acquired over the course of two decades and offering a rarely seen view of the entire arc of Duchamp's career. This is the first stage of a two-part exhibition on the life and legacy of Duchamp. The second stage, opening spring 2020, will examine Duchamp's lasting impact through the lens of the Hirshhorn's permanent collection, including significant works by a diverse roster of modern and contemporary artists.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

 

DANCE

Nov. 23 to Dec. 29

The Nutcracker

Set to Tchaikovsky's magical score, this celebrated production is set in historic 1882 Georgetown with George Washington, King George III and other historical figures coming to life with intricate, stunning set designs, original period costumes and over 100 dancers including students and trainees from The Washington School of Ballet. It has become the signature Nutcracker of the nation's capital. Please call for ticket information.

Warner Theatre

 

Fri., Dec. 13, 7 p.m.

French Embassy Holiday Gala and Viennese Ball

This holiday gala and Vienniese ball at the French Embassy features alumni from Princeton, Yale, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, University of Pennsylvania, Wellesley, Stanford, Smith, NYU, Johns Hopkins and many other U.S. universities. A partner or prior dance experience are not needed to attend, as Viennese Waltz lessons will be offered just before the ball. Enjoy a night of classic music with the Salon Orchestra of Washington Strauss performing waltzes, the famous Radetsky Grand March and other ballroom music from around the world. Tickets are $79 to $109; for information, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/french-embassy-holiday-gala-viennese-ball-french-wine-desserts-dance-tickets-80409818933.

Embassy of France

 

Dec. 15 to 16

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

With world-class artists, dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppet, and soaring birds, don't miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza. Please call for ticket information.

Music Center at Strathmore

 

DISCUSSIONS

Wed., Dec. 4, 6:45 p.m.

The Architecture of Reuse: Lessons from European Cities

Europeans have spent centuries integrating the architectural legacies of their cities into buildings that meet the changing needs of their residents and reflect an evolving array of design styles. Highlighting examples in Italy and France, architect Paola Lugli addresses how historic buildings can survive and thrive through modern adaptations, as well as how architects are re-purposing buildings today. Tickets are $30; for information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

 

Thu., Dec. 5, 6:45 p.m.

Delayed Justice: The Hunt for Hitler's Hidden Soldiers in America

In 1990, in a basement archive in Prague, two American historians made a startling discovery: a Nazi roster from 1945 that no Western investigator had ever seen. The long-forgotten document, containing more than 700 names, helped unravel the details behind the most lethal killing operation in World War II. Author Debbie Cenziper unfolds the harrowing wartime journeys of two Jewish orphans from occupied Poland who outran the Nazis and settled in the United States, only to learn that some of their one-time captors had as well. Tickets are $30; for information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

 

Mon., Dec. 9, 6:45 p.m.

Buone Feste: How Italy Celebrates Christmas

Italy has many of the most beautiful and meaningful celebrations of the Christmas season to be found anywhere. oin popular Smithsonian speaker Fred Plotkin, an expert on everything Italian, on a memorable tour that celebrates the magic that is Christmas in Italy. Tickets are $90; for information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

 

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

Vital Voices: Endangered Languages in a Changing World.

Languages are integral to our identity, heritage, and humanity. There are roughly 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, but it's estimated that without intervention, more than half of them will disappear by the end of this century. Mary Linn of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage examines the critical importance of maintaining language diversity, the forces that threaten to silence endangered languages, and the efforts to combat them. Tickets are $30; for information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

 

Thu., Dec. 12, 6:45 p.m.

Barack and Joe: The Making of a Presidential Friendship

Joe Biden and Barack Obama were a study in sharply contrasting styles. That they came to form a dynamic professional partnership and close personal relationship is remarkable in so many ways. Author Steve Levingston explores the evolution of this relationship in his new book based on original interviews, media reports, memoirs and other sources. Tickets are $30; for information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

 

MUSIC

Tue., Dec. 3, 7 p.m.

Clara Schumann's Life and Love

On the 200th anniversary of the birth of German pianist and composer Clara Schumann, acclaimed Austrian pianist and lecturer Elisabeth Eschwé has created a scenic piano recital, staging Schumann from her early childhood under the tutorial guidance of her father Friedrich Wieck; to the celebrated prodigy, secret fiancé and then wife of Robert Schumann; to a grief-stricken mother and widow; and finally her years as internationally renowned pianist and lifelong friend of Johannes Brahms. Admission is free; register at acfdc.org.

Embassy of Austria

 

Wed., Dec. 4, 6:45 p.m.

Gala Holiday Concert with the New York Virtuosi Strings

Join the Embassy Series for its annual holiday concert featuring champagne, cuisine, carols and a performance by the New York Virtuosi Strings. Tickets are $225, including buffet and wine; for information, visit embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Slovakia

 

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

Zlatomir Fung, Cello;

Rohan de Silva, Piano

Enjoy the acclaimed sounds of cellist Zlatomir Fung, who just won the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky International Competition. He also recently captured First Prize at the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition, as well as the competition's sole performance engagement prize for a concert with Poland's Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets are $125, including buffet, wine and valet parking; for information, visit embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Bulgaria

 

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

Timeless Armenian Classics: Komitas at 150

Komitas (born in 1869) is rightfully considered the father of Armenian national school of music. He collected and transcribed over 3,000 pieces of folk music and was revered by his contemporaries, including by composers Clade Debussy and Camile Saint-Saens, before his tragic death in Paris in 1935. Strathmore presents an evening of music of Komitas, Khachaturyan and other Armenian composers performed by Armine Grigoryan, one of Armenia's most accomplished pianists. Tickets are $35.

Music Center at Strathmore

 

Sat., Dec. 7, 3 and 8 p.m.

Eileen Ivers: A Joyful Christmas

"A Joyful Christmas" recalls the roaring hearths and roars of laughter that make up Christmas in Ireland. Virtuoso fiddler Eileen Ivers interweaves age-old Wren Day songs, beloved American carols and even a jigging Bach for a tuneful, soulful celebration capturing the true spirit of the season. Tickets start at $29.

Wolf Trap

 

Sat., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.

Joy to the World: A Christmas Musical Journey

Damien Sneed brings good tidings to Sixth and I with a combination of gospel, jazz, and classic Christmas carols, presented by Washington Performing Arts. Tickets are $35.

Sixth and I

 

Dec. 7 to 15

The Christmas Revels: Celestial Fools

Magic is just around the corner in a rustic village in Europe. As the winter days grow short, three wandering performers from far-off lands weave music, dance and stories from their cultures into an enchanting and dramatic tale of the Winter Solstice. But when the sun finally sets on the longest night, these "Celestial Fools" lead us on a journey into the heavens to reclaim the light and restore its warmth to the world. Join a cast of over 100, ages 9 to 90, for this timeless fable and sing along and dance through the aisles to eclectic instrumentals by Seth Kibel, Vladimir Fridman and Bob Abbott, with the glorious tones of the Washington Revels Brass. Tickets are $12 to $65.

GW Lisner Auditorium

 

Wed., Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.

Year-End Concert with Korean Artists

This year-end concert hosted by the Embassy Series in cooperation with the Korean Cultural Center features violinist Youjin Lee, cellist Min Ji Kim and pianist Do-Hyun Kim. Tickets are $60, including buffet and wine, or $150 for patrons; for information, visit embassyseries.org.

Anderson House

 

Thu., Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m.

Tribute to Tchaikovsky

In advance of Tchaikovsky's upcoming 180th anniversary year, the Russian Chamber Art Society's 2019 holiday concert will be a unique and festive tribute to the beloved composer. Though best known worldwide for his ballets, orchestral works and operas, Tchaikovsky displayed his supreme gift for melody in more than 100 Russian art songs or "romances." Exceptional young lyric tenor Fanyong Du, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the Odessa National Academy of Music in Ukraine, will perform a selection of Tchaikovsky's most exquisite romances with pianist Vera Danchenko-Stern, RCAS founder and artistic director. Tickets are $55, including post-concert reception; for information, visit thercas.com.

Embassy of France

 

Dec. 15 to 24

The Choral Arts Society of Washington: Songs of the Season

The Choral Arts Society of Washington brings glad tidings with a selection of its favorite holiday carols and seasonal classics performed by the Choral Arts Chorus and Youth Choir that combine traditional favorites and choral jewels of the season with masterpieces performed by soloist Kristina Lewis. Tickets are $15 to $72.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall

 

Sat., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.,

Sun., Dec. 22, 3 p.m.

National Philharmonic: Handel's Messiah

No Christmas celebration is complete without a performance of Handel's uplifting oratorio Messiah, a work that has delighted and inspired audiences worldwide since its premiere in 1741. Please call for ticket information.

Music Center at Strathmore

 

THEATER

Dec. 1 to Jan. 5

She The People

Since 2009, Woolly Mammoth has partnered with The Second City to bring their signature brand of laughter-fueled activism to D.C. audiences. This brand-new play further satirizes the reality of being a woman in the United States, exploding the myths and misrepresentations surrounding body positivity, bachelorettes, Beyoncé, the 2020 ballot, and exploring the impact of the Trump presidency and the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. Tickets start at $38.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

 

Dec. 3 to Dec. 29

The Second City's Love, Factually

"Love, Actually" — whether you love it, hate it or have never even seen it, you'll definitely love this romantic romp that parodies the film along with many other classic holiday rom-com moments. Back by popular demand following a sold-out run in 2018, this year's "Love, Factually" is packed with even more parody of the classic holiday film. Tickets are $49 to $79.

Kennedy Center Theater Lab

 

Dec. 3 to Jan. 12

Peter Pan and Wendy

Bold, budding scientist Wendy Darling dreams of earning a Nobel Prize. When Peter Pan arrives at her bedroom window, she takes a leap and leaves finishing school behind, chasing adventure among the stars. Facing down fairies, mermaids and the dastardly Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter and their friends discover the power of standing up together for what's right. Please call for ticket information.

Shakespeare Theatre Company

 

Thu., Dec. 5, 7 p.m.

Of Gods and Men

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Baltimore School for the Arts, its theatre experimental lab presents a new performance using translated extracts by Spanish authors such as San Juan de la Cruz, Calderón de la Barca, Miguel de Unamuno, Santa Teresa and Irma Correa — offering a journey into Spanish literature from the 16th century to the present day. Admission is free but RSVP is required and can be made at www.spainculture.us/city/washington-dc/.

Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain

 

Through Dec. 8

Occupant

Edward Albee's "Occupant" imagines an interview with sculptor Lousie Nevelson from beyond the grave and digs into the icon's turmoil and triumphs as she transforms from a young Jewish girl immigrating from Russia to a master at the height of her creative powers. Through her ups and downs, her contradictions and evasions, the audience witnesses the complicated evolution of one of the 20th century's greatest artistic minds. Tickets are $39 to $69.

Edlavitch DCJCC Theater J

 

Dec. 8 to Jan. 5

The Snow Queen

Synetic presents a whimsical, family-friendly adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's beloved fairy tale, The Snow Queen. Join Gerda, a little girl with gumption, a magic mirror, and a quest to save her best friend, as she sets out on a life-changing journey that takes her over mountains and across distant lands to the Snow Kingdom. Tickets are $15 to $30.

Synetic Theater

 

Dec. 12 to 31

An Irish Carol

An original work by Keegan company member Matthew Keenan, "An Irish Carol" is an homage to Dickens' classic — told as only the Irish can. This comic and touching play, set in a modern Dublin pub, follows one evening in the life of David, a wealthy pub owner who has lost touch with his own humanity in the interest of self-protection and material success. But on this Christmas Eve, three voices may change David's life forever. Tickets are $36 to $46.

Keegan Theatre

 

Dec. 14 to Jan. 12

The Dead

Scena Theatre presents an original musical version of the classic short story by Ireland's greatest writer, James Joyce. The story opens at a Christmas party where the young Gretta swoons while a renowned tenor sings at the piano. Her husband Gabriel feels amorous while he watches her. Later that night, he's devastated to learn she was actually moved by the memory of her first love, who died hopelessly obsessed with her. Realizing his marriage lacks such passion, Gabriel feels like a shadow of a person, flickering in a world where the living and "the dead" converge. Tickets are $15 to $50.

The Atlas

 

Through Dec. 15

White Pearl

A leaked ad for skin-whitening cream is going viral for all the wrong reasons and someone's definitely getting fired in this twisted corporate comedy about selling whiteness and the ugliness of the beauty industry. Please call for ticket information.

The Studio Theatre

 

Dec. 17 to Jan. 19

My Fair Lady

Boasting such classic songs as "I Could Have Danced All Night," "My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a "proper lady." But who is really being transformed? Tickets are $39 to $159.

Kennedy Center Opera House

 

Through Dec. 22

Amadeus

Genius and jealousy collide in the opulent salons and opera houses of 18th-century Vienna when an impulsive and eccentric prodigy outshines an envious, God-fearing composer consumed by bitterness. Theatrical fireworks emerge as mediocre Salieri will do everything in his power to destroy his musical rival Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Tickets are $27 to $85.

Folger Theatre

 

Through Dec. 22

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Murder. Mystery. Mayhem. Math. What begins as an investigation into the grisly death of a neighbor's dog results in a remarkable coming-of-age journey for 15-year-old Christopher Boone, a self-described "mathematician with some behavioral problems. Tickets are $32 to $68.

Round House Theatre

 

Through Dec. 29

Dear Jack, Dear Louise

When two strangers meet by letter during World War II, a love story begins. U.S. Army Captain Jack Ludwig, a military doctor stationed in Oregon, begins writing to Louise Rabiner, an aspiring actress and dancer in New York City, hoping to meet her someday if the war will allow. But as the war continues, it threatens to end their relationship before it even starts. Please call for ticket information.

Arena Stage

 

Through Dec. 29

Disney's Newsies

In the summer of 1899, the newsboys of New York City took on two of the most powerful men in the country — Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst — and won. Inspired by true events, the Broadway smash hit is a testament to the power of standing up and speaking out. Please call for ticket information.

Arena Stage

 

Through Dec. 29

A Christmas Carol

It's the 10th Anniversary of Olney's favorite Christmas tradition, as Paul Morella's captivating solo performance of the Dickens classic keeps audiences coming back season and after season. Tickets are $40 to $84.

Olney Theatre Center

 

Through Jan. 1

A Christmas Carol

Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens's Yuletide classic. Tickets are $34 to $124.

Ford's Theatre

 

Through Jan. 4

A Chorus Line

Winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, overflowing with sensational ballet, tap and jazz dance numbers, this nonstop showcase with one of the largest casts in Signature history is the one singular sensation for the holiday season. Please call for ticket information.

Signature Theatre

   

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