Films - March 2016

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Environmental Film Festival

The 24th annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, the largest and longest-running environmental film festival in the country and the largest film festival in D.C., is back from March 15 to 26. Among the festival's 140-plus films are 80 international contributions from 33 different countries. "Parks: Protecting Wild," exploring the vital role of parks and protected areas on our planet, will be the focus of the 2016 selections. Screenings include discussion with filmmakers, scientists and policymakers — many of them free.

For more information, visit www.dceff.org.

*EFF = Environmental Film Festival

**WJFF = Washington Jewish Film Festival

***NAFF = New African Film Festival

Languages

Amharic

French

Polish

Tamashek


Arabic

Hebrew

Russian


Creole

Japanese

Spanish

English

Luganda

Swahili

Amharic

Crumbs

Directed by Miguel Llansó

(Ethiopia/Spain/Finland, 2015, 68 min.)

Set against the backdrop of spectacular post-apocalyptic Ethiopian landscapes, the film follows a strange-looking scrap collector who is alternately gripped by daydreams and constant fears (NAFF; Amharic and Afrikaans).

AFI Silver Theatre

Tue., March 15, 9:30 p.m.,

Thu., March 17, 5:15 p.m.

 

Lamb

Directed by Yared Zeleke

(Ethiopia/France/Germany/Norway/Qatar, 2015, 94 min.)

Ephraim, a half-Jewish Ethiopian boy who is sent by his father to live among distant relatives, uses his cooking skills to carve out a place among his cousins, but when his uncle decides that his beloved sheep must be sacrificed for the next religious feast, he will do anything to save the animal and return home (NAFF and EFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

Sun., March 13, 4:45 p.m.

Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

Tue., March 22, 7 p.m.

 

Mussa

Directed by Anat Goren

(Israel, 2015, 60 min.)

Twelve-year-old Mussa won't speak. A refugee from Darfur living in Tel Aviv, he's been bussed from his troubled neighborhood to an upscale private school for the past five years. Despite the bond he shares with his friends and teacher, Mussa is alone; his parents struggle to make ends meet, leaving Mussa with his voiceless thoughts (WJFF; Amharic, Arabic, English and Hebrew).

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Tue., March 1, 6:15 p.m.

Washington DCJCC

Fri., March 4, 3 p.m.

 

Price of Love

Directed by Hermon Hailay

(Ethiopia, 2015, 99 min.)

A recovering addict, Teddy drives his cab across the sprawling Addis Ababa, in the hopes of making an honest living. But when Teddy picks up the beautiful prostitute Fere, just as she's escaping an abusive john, he's thrust back into the world of trouble (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., March 12, 7:15 p.m.,

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

 

Arabic

Beats of the Antonov

Directed by Hajooj Kuka

(Sudan/South Africa, 2014, 68 min.)

On the border between the two Sudans, Russian-made Antonov planes indiscriminately drop bombs on settlements in the Nuba Mountains below. Yet, incredibly, the people of the Blue Nile respond to adversity with music, singing and dancing to celebrate their survival (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., March 12, 1:15 p.m.,

Mon., March 14, 5:15 p.m.

 

Madame Courage

Directed by Merzak Allouache

(Algeria/France, 2015, 90 min.)

Omar ekes out a meager living in the slums of seaside village Mostaganem, snatching valuables off passersby to feed his addiction to Madame Courage: Artane tablets, popular for their euphoric effect of invincibility (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., March 13, 6:45 p.m.,

Fri., March 18, 5:20 p.m.

 

The Midnight Orchestra

Directed by Jerome Cohen Olivar

(Morocco, 2015, 102 min.)

The son of a once-famous Jewish musicians returns to Casablanca for the first time after leaving Morocco as a child amid racial tensions to honor his father's legacy (WJFF).

Washington DCJCC

Wed., March 5, 8:30 p.m.

Creole

Sugarcane Shadows

(Lonbranz Kann)

Directed by David Constantin

(Mauritius/France, 2014, 88 min.)

Farmers Maro and Bissoon spent their lives working on sugarcane fields, but as tourism increased on the tropical island of Mauritius, their fields were razed to make way for ritzy hotels and lush golf courses (NAFF; Creole and French).

AFI Silver Theatre

Mon., March 14, 9:30 p.m.

 

English

Anthropocene: The Movie

Directed by Steve Bradshaw

(U.K., 2015, 96 min.)

We are living in the "Anthropocene," the age of large-scale human impact that many scientists believe constitutes a whole new epoch in the geologic timescale. A chorus of these scholars weighs in on whether our moment in the spotlight of Earth's history will go down as a true tragedy or just a dark comedy (EFF).

National Museum of Natural History

Sat., March 26, 4 p.m.

 

Atlantic

Directed by Risteard Ó Domhnaill

(Ireland, 2016, 71 min.)

At three different corners of the Atlantic, fishing communities in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland share social, economic and environmental crises stemming from human interactions with the ocean's ecosystems (EFF).

Carnegie Institution for Science

Sat., March 19, 2:15 p.m.

 

Avalon

Directed by Barry Levinson

(U.S., 1990, 128 min.)

Director Barry Levinson traces various transitions within the Krichinsky family and conveys his appreciation for the anxieties that afflict the suburban middle class — and multiple generations of immigrants in particular (WJFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

 

Bike Repair Shop

Directed by Stefano Gabbiani

(Italy, 2015, 73 min.)

As Turin emerges from an era dominated by the automobile industry, the owners of two bicycle repair shops benefit from the city's newfound interest in cycling — and recycling (EFF).

Embassy of Italy

Thu., March 17, 7 p.m.

 

The Bird Ranger

Directed by Hans den Hartog

(Netherlands, 2015, 68 min.)

The "bird rangers" of the Boschplaat nature reserve, on the northern Dutch island of Terschelling, have always done much more than guard the wetlands. They're also full-fledged scientists (EFF; reception to follow).

Royal Netherlands Embassy

Wed., March 16, 6 p.m.

 

Blood Lions

Directed by Bruce Young

(U.S./South Africa, 2016, 84 min.)

Under the cover of legal loopholes and "wildlife sanctuary" fronts, breeding facilities in South Africa raise lions in captivity to be shot at close range by the highest bidder. In this big business of "canned hunting," anyone with enough money can select an animal from an online photo gallery and then kill it while it sits fenced in (EFF).

New York University

Wed., March 16, 7 p.m.

 

The Babushkas of Chernobyl

Directed by Holly Morris and Anne Bogart

(U.S., 2015, 72 min.)

Inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a defiant community of women lives on some of the most toxic land on Earth (EFF).

Carnegie Institution for Science

Mon., March 21, 7 p.m.

 

The Birth of Sake

Directed by Erik Shirai

(Japan/U.S., 2015, 94 min.)

The 144-year-old Yoshida Saké Brewery does things the old-fashioned way: Dedicated artisans work in concert with natural forces — the temperature and humidity of the air, the chemistry of the water, the swirling koji mold that fuels fermentation — to uphold a millennia-old tradition (EFF).

Carnegie Institution for Science

Tue., March 22, 7 p.m.

 

Carvalho's Journey

Directed by Steve Rivo

(U.S., 2015, 85 min.)

At a time when the US was busy pushing and re-defining its borders, the nascent medium of photography was just starting to take root. At the center of this artistic and geographic expansion stood an observant Sephardic Jew from South Carolina, Solomon Carvalho (WJFF).

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Wed., March 2, 6:15 p.m.

 

Cemetery of Splendor

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

(Thailand, 2015, 122 min.)

When soldiers working on a mysterious dig site contract a supernatural "sleeping sickness," doctors and volunteer nurses set up a makeshift hospital where the treatments include colored light therapy, psychic mediation and intimate human contact. For Jen, a volunteer, the hospital becomes a space of revelation, where the mythic past permeates the everyday (EFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., March 20, 8 p.m.

 

Cuckold

Directed by Charlie Vundla

(South Africa, 2015, 95 min.)

Smanga is a celebrated young professor whose life unravels when his wife leaves him and he spirals into a drug- and sex-induced tailspin (NAFF; English and Zulu).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., March 12, 3 p.m.

 

The Cursed Ones

Directed by Nana Obiri-Yeboah

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

A series of misfortunes leads a West African village to accuse a young girl of witchcraft, and their pastor insists that salvation lies in her exorcism and death. But a disillusioned reporter attempts to save her, fighting back against corruption and false prophets (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., March 18, 9 p.m.

 

Double Happiness

Directed by Ella Raidel

(Austria, 2014, 75 min.)

In China's Guangdong province, a mining tycoon has built an exact 1:1 replica of the idyllic Austrian village of Hallstatt. Beyond the gimmicky appeal of "copycat" development, this phenomenon serves as provocative perspective on the ramifications of the country's rapid urbanization (EFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., March 19, 5:45 p.m.

 

Ever the Land

Directed by Sarah Grohnert

(New Zealand, 2015, 90 min.)

In the Te Urewara forests of northern New Zealand, the fiercely independent Tūhoe Maori tribe undertakes the building of a grand new meeting hall using radically sustainable methods (EFF).

National Museum of Natural History

Sat., March 19, 12 p.m.

Embassy of New Zealand

Tue., March 22, 7 p.m.

 

Fifty

Directed by Biyi Bandele

(Nigeria, 2015, 101 min.)

Four middle-age friends who are forced to take stock of their personal lives while juggling careers and family in the upper middle-class neighborhoods of Lagos (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., March 12, 5 p.m.

 

Fractured Land

Directed by Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis

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

With some of the world's largest fracking operations on his territory, Caleb Behn, a young indigenous leader and lawyer in British Columbia, struggles to reconcile the teachings of his Dene tribe with the Canadian law intended to protect his ancestral land (EFF).

National Museum of the American Indian

Sun., March 20, 2 p.m.

 

Good Things Await

Directed by Phie Ambo

(Denmark, 2014, 93 min.)

Niels Stokholm is an agricultural visionary: The Danish farm he runs with his wife Rita serves as one of Europe's finest test cases of "biodynamics," a radical approach to food production with its own cosmic philosophy and defiantly low-tech methods (EFF).

Embassy of France

Thu., March 17, 7 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., March 20, 6 p.m.

 

Hadwin's Judgment

Directed by Sasha Snow

(Canada, 2015, 87 min.)

Grant Hadwin was an expert logger working in Canada's Pacific Northwest, until his conscience spurred him to challenge the destruction of the world's last great temperate rainforest in which he'd been complicit (EFF).

Avalon Theatre

Sat., March 26, 1 p.m.

 

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World

Directed by Charles Wilkinson

(Canada, 2015, 75 min.)

Eighty miles off the northwest coast of British Columbia, the mountainous archipelago Haida Gwaii rises above the Pacific Ocean. These islands have been home to the Haida people since 13,000 BC, though smallpox decimated their population and industrial fishing and logging pose a perpetual threat (EFF).

National Museum of Natural History

Sat., March 26, 12 p.m.

 

Ice & Sky

Directed by Luc Jacquet

(France, 2015, 89 min.)

The discoveries of glaciologist Claude Lorius laid the groundwork for our understanding of both the science of global warming and the urgency of responding to it (EFF).

Carnegie Institution for Science

Wed., March 23, 7 p.m.

 

Katatura

Directed by Florian Schott

(Namibia, 2015, 112 min.)

Married ex-con Dangi is struggling to lead a clean and law-abiding life while juggling a relationship with his ex-mistress and their son, neither of whom his wife knows about (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

 

Kings of Nowhere

Directed by Betzabé García

(Mexico, 2015, 83 min.)

The construction of a dam turned the Mexican village of San Marcos into a waterlogged ghost town, but three families refuse to surrender their home to the flood (EFF).

National Geographic Society

Wed., March 23, 7 p.m.

 

License to Krill

Directed by David Sington

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

Antarctic krill may be tiny, but they're massively important: A whole ecosystem depends on these little crustaceans, with whales, seals, and penguins all relying on them as a primary food source (EFF).

Carnegie Institution for Science

Fri., March 18, 6 and 8:30 p.m.

National Museum of Natural History

Sun., March 20, 12 p.m.

 

The Living Fire

Directed by Ostap Kostyuk

(Ukraine, 2015, 77 min.)

This film follows three men of different generations living in the Ukrainian Carpathians (EFF).

Carnegie Institution for Science

Sun., March 20, 4 p.m.

 

Making of an Ancient Forest – Kalkalpen National Park

Directed by Rita Schlamberger

(Austria, 2015, 52 min.)

The remote forests of Kalkalpen National Park in Austria, the largest area of wilderness in the European Alps, have been left untouched by humans for nearly a quarter of a century in order to return to their natural, primeval state (EFF).

Embassy of Austria

Tue., March 22, 7:30 p.m.

 

Monkey Kingdom

Directed by Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill

(U.S., 2015, 81 min.)

In the Sri Lankan jungle, a newborn monkey and its mother struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a group of macaques living in a complex of ancient ruins (EFF).

National Gallery of Art

Sat., March 19, 10:30 a.m.,

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

 

Necktie Youth

Directed by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer

(South Africa/Netherlands, 2015, 93 min.)

A wealthy white teen has hanged herself from a tree, using her school necktie. To make matters worse, her death has been live-streamed. From there, the filmmaker follows other teens peripherally connected to the girl, all of whom make up a contemporary génération perdue — young people who are wrecked and defeated (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Fri., March 11, 9:30 p.m.,

Wed., March 16, 5:15 p.m.

 

Oddball

Directed by Stuart McDonald

(Australia, 2015, 95 min.)

Off the south coast of Australia, foxes have taken over an island sanctuary that is home to the world's smallest penguins, damaging their population. But an eccentric chicken farmer and his precocious granddaughter hatch a plan to save the penguins: they'll train his mischievous sheepdog to guard them (EFF).

Avalon Theatre

Sat., March 26, 10:30 a.m.

 

The Pawnbroker

Directed by Sidney Lumet

(U.S., 1964, 116 min.)

A Jewish pawnbroker, a victim of Nazi persecution, loses all faith in his fellow man until he realizes too late the tragedy of his actions (WJFF).

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Thu., March 3, 3:45 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., March 6, 12:30 p.m.

 

Poached

Directed by Timothy Wheeler

(U.K., 2015, 90 min.)

A rash of egg thieves raiding the nests of rare birds has precipitated a police initiative named "Operation Easter," which has succeeded in confiscating thousands of eggs found under beds and floorboards, and in secret rooms. The offenders are motivated not by money but by the beauty of the egg and the thrill of the chase (EFF).

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Thu., March 24, 7 p.m.

 

Portrait of a Serial Monogamist

Directed by Christina Zeidler and John Mitchell

(Canada, 2015, 82 min.)

Fortysomething Toronto TV producer Elsie is the kind of nice Jewish girl your mother warned you about: the serial monogamist who seems to have slept with everyone in town. When Elsie coolly cuts it off with sweet performance artist Robyn, her friends challenge her to stay single for five months (WJFF).

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Tue., March 1, 8:30 p.m.

West End Cinema

Wed., March 2, 8:15 p.m.

 

Puffin Patrol

Directed by Scott Dobson

(U.S., 2015, 50 min.)

On the remote coastlines of Maine, Wales, and Newfoundland, scientists observe the annual life cycle of the Atlantic Puffin to discover what this intriguing little bird can teach us about the dangers facing our natural world (EFF).

Embassy of Canada

Tue., March 15, 4 and 6 p.m.

 

Rams

Directed by Grímur Hákonarson

(Iceland, 2015, 93 min.)

In a remote Icelandic valley, two solitary brothers who haven't spoken in 40 years tend prize-winning sheep descended from their family's ancestral flock. When a devastating sheep disease takes hold in the region, they're forced to come together in order to save their beloved livestock from a government-mandated wipeout that endangers the livelihood of the whole community (EFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., March 26, 7:20 p.m.

 

Salt of the Earth

Directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

(France, 2014, 109 min.)

Over the past 40 years, photographer Sebastião Salgado has borne witness to the plights of marginalized communities the world over, from famines to civil wars to unsafe labor conditions. Now he turns his camera toward another subject under threat — our natural world — framing pristine landscapes and bounties of biodiversity within a huge project celebrating the environment (EFF).

The Phillips Collection

Sat., March 19, 2 p.m.

 

Sherpa

Directed by Jennifer Peedom

(Australia/U.K., 2015, 96 min.)

After a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest in 2014 that kills 16 Sherpas, their community unites in grief and anger to reclaim the mountain from the Western-oriented adventure industry that forces them to risk their lives (EFF).

Carnegie Institution for Science

Tue., March 15, 7 p.m.

 

Something Better to Come

Directed by Sigrid Dyekjær

(Denmark, 2015, 110 min.)

Inside the guarded perimeter of Svalka, a hellish junkyard on the outskirts of Moscow, a dogged yet vibrant community ekes out a life, dreaming of escape (EFF).

Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

Wed., March 23, 7 p.m.

 

This Changes Everything

Directed by Avi Lewis

(U.S./Canada, 2015, 89 min.)

Filmed across five continents, this film, inspired by Naomi Klein's international non-fiction bestseller of the same name, makes an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change (EFF).

St. Columba's Episcopal Church

Fri., March 18, 7:30 p.m.

 

The Whispering Star

Directed by Sion Sono

(Japan, 2015, 100 min.)

Yoko, a humanoid robot, travels from planet to planet delivering mysterious packages. Among those planets are distinctly Earth-like places, where an unspecified apocalypse has rendered human beings an endangered species in a landscape of detritus (EFF).

National Museum of American History

Sun., March 20, 3 p.m.

 

A World Icon: Singapore Botanic Garden

Directed by Peter Lamb

(Singapore, 2016, 52 min.)

Singapore may be a primarily urban place, but it also contains one of the world's great green spaces: the first and only tropical botanic garden to be given the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site (EFF).

Embassy of Singapore

Thu., March 24, 7 p.m.

 

French

Black Jews: The Roots of the Olive Tree

Directed by Laurence Gavron

(Cameroon/Senegal/Israel/France, 2016, 56 min.)

This film explores the modern-day and institutional practice of Judaism among African tribes with Jewish roots in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon (WJFF).

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Wed., March 2, 6:45 p.m.

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Thu., March 3, 6:30 p.m.

 

Eye of the Storm

Directed by Sékou Traoré

(France/Burkina Faso, 2015, 104 min.)

In an unidentified African country plagued by civil war, Emma is a young idealistic lawyer, officially assigned to defend a former child soldier accused of heinous war crimes (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., March 12, 9:30 p.m.

 

The Law

Directed by Christian Faure

(France, 2014, 87 min.)

Simone Veil's intrepid fight to legalize abortion in France is brilliantly brought to life in this taut fact-based drama (WJFF).

Washington DCJCC

Sat., March 5, 4:45 p.m.

 

Morbayassa

Directed by Cheick Fantamady Camara

(France/Guinea, 2015, 124 min.)

Bella works in a mafia-run cabaret in Dakar, struggling to accept the limitations of her miserable life. Having given up her daughter for adoption 15 years prior, Bella is wracked with guilt over her past actions, but when she meets a fellow Guinean, working for the U.N., she has a chance for redemption (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., March 13, 8:45 p.m.

 

No Home Movie

Directed by Chantal Akerman

(France/Belgium, 2015, 115 min.)

At the center of Chantal Akerman's enormous body of work is her mother, a Holocaust survivor who married and raised a family in Brussels (WJFF).

West End Cinema

Tue., March 1, 8:15 p.m.

 

Once in a Lifetime

Directed by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar

(France, 2014, 105 min.)

Frustrated but undaunted, a dedicated high school history teacher in France tests her multicultural and multi-faith classroom with a unique assignment: a national competition on the theme of child victims of the Nazi concentration camps (WJFF).

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Tue., March 1, 8:45 p.m.

Washington DCJCC

Thu., March 3, 8:45 p.m.

 

Pépé le Moko

Directed by Julien Duvivier

(France, 1937, 94 min.)

A wanted gangster is both king and prisoner of the Casbah — protected from arrest by his friends, but torn by his desire for freedom outside. A visiting Parisian beauty may just tempt his fate.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., March 26, 12:30 p.m.

 

They Will Have to Kill Us First

Directed by Johanna Schwartz

(U.K., 2015, 105 min.)

Music is the beating heart of Malian culture. But when Islamic hardliners took control of northern Mali in 2012, they enforced one of the harshest interpretations of sharia law in history and banned all forms of music (NAFF; French, Songhay, English, Bambara and Tamasheq).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

 

Hebrew

Barash

Directed by Michal Vinik

(Israel, 2015, 90 min.)

Naama Barash, 17, enjoys drugs, alcohol and hanging out with like-minded friends, while her rebellious, army-enrolled sister wreaks havoc by dating a Palestinian before going AWOL altogether. As her parents fret about their older daughter's disappearance, Naama meets a wild girl in school and discovers the intoxicating rush of first love (WJFF).

Avalon Theatre

Wed., March 2, 8:45 p.m.

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Thu., March 3, 6:15 p.m.

 

The Chaos Within

Directed by Yakov Yanai Lein

(Israel, 2014, 85 min.)

For 10 years, Yakov Yanai Lein tracks his relationship with his mother, a Holocaust survivor who learned the secrets of Kaballah from her husband before devoting herself to saving humanity from self-destruction (WJFF).

West End Cinema

Wed., March 2, 6:30 p.m.

 

The Good Son

Directed by Shirly Berkovitz

(Israel, 2004, 53 min.)

A young man secretly finances his sex change operation in Thailand by lying to his conservative parents and then returns home as a woman to face her new life (WJFF).

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

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

Washington DCJCC

Sun., March 6, 2:45 p.m.

 

Encirclements

Directed by Lee Gilat

(Israel, 2014, 98 min.)

A 13-year-old growing up in a working class Moroccan-Israeli community, Aharon is having a tough time. His father is distant; bullies hound him on the street; and the girl of his dreams barely knows he exists. When he is chosen to carry the Torah scrolls for Simchat Torah, however, his streak of bad luck seems over (WJFF).

Washington DCJCC

Sun., March 6, 4:30 p.m.

 

Marzipan Flowers

Directed by Adam Kalderon

(Israel, 2014, 73 min.)

After her husband dies in an accident, a 48-year-old kibbutznik is scrutinized by neighbors and threatened by her status as a beautiful widow. Lonely and out of her element, she forges a connection with a new roommate, a transgender woman with a mysterious past (WJFF).

Washington DCJCC

Wed., March 2, 8:45 p.m.

 

Red Leaves

Directed by Bazi Gete

(Israel, 2014, 80 min.)

After losing his wife, an Ethiopian émigré to Israel sets out on a journey to visit each of his children and is forced to reckon with his traditional values when faced with their comfortable, assimilated lives (WJFF).

Landmark's E Street Cinema

Tue., March 1, 6:15 p.m.

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Wed., March 2, 8:15 p.m.

 

A Tale of Love and Darkness

Directed by Natalie Portman

(Israel/U.S., 2015, 98 min.)

In this dream-like tale, Natalie Portman inhabits Fania, a mother who brings up her son in Jerusalem during the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the early years of Israel. Dissatisfied with her marriage, and disoriented by the foreign land surrounding her, Fania escapes into elaborate, fanciful stories of make-believe — bringing her adoring, wide-eyed son along (closing night of the Washington Jewish Film Festival; Natalie Portman in attendance).

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., March 6, 7:15 and 7:30 p.m.

 

Japanese

Persona Non-Grata

Directed Cellin Gluck

(Japan, 2016, 135 min.)

The heroic tale of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat posted in Lithuania during World War II, is brought to screen in sweeping fashion in this instant epic (WJFF).

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Wed., March 2, 8:45 p.m.

West End Cinema

Thu., March 3, 8:45 p.m.

 

The Tale of Iya

Directed by Tetsuichiro Tsuta

(Japan, 2013, 169 min.)

Exhausted by city life, a young man named Kubo decides to take solace in nature by moving to the lush and mountainous Iya Valley. Hoping to live a self-sufficient life, he soon learns that the realities of living with nature are harsher than he originally thought (EFF).

Japan Information and Culture Center

Wed., March 23, 6:30 p.m.

 

Luganda

The Boda Boda Thieves

Directed by Donald Mugisha and James Taylor

(South Africa/Germany/Kenya/Uganda, 2015, 85 min.)

Fifteen-year-old Abel is forced to provide for his family and man their boda boda (moto taxi) after his father is injured in a traffic accident. Looking for a quick fix, he gets lured in by a local hustler who offers him the chance to be a getaway driver (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

Wed., March 16, 9:30 p.m.

 

Polish

Demon

Directed by Marcin Wrona

(Poland/Israel, 2015, 94 min.)

In this chilling, modern interpretation of the Dybbuk legend, Piotr's joy at visiting his bride-to-be at her Polish home is quickly upended by his discovery of human bones on the property (WJFF; Polish and Yiddish).

AFI Silver Theatre

Tue., March 1, 9:15 p.m.

 

A Grain of Truth

Directed by Borys Lankosz

(Poland, 2015, 110 min.)

A horrendous crime has been committed in the picturesque small town of Sandomierz: The body of a murdered woman, a well-liked local social activist is found. Prosecutor Teodor Szacki, recently moved down from Warsaw, recognizes that the murders are connected to allegedly historic Jewish ritual killings (WJFF).

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Tue., March 1, 8:30 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre

Wed., March 2, 9 p.m.

 

Klezmer

Directed by Piotr Chrzan

(Poland, 2015, 97 min.)

In 1943, a group of Polish villagers gathering in the woods to discover a listless and injured man. Recognizing him to be a Jewish musician, the party heatedly argue about what to do next: turn him into the authorities for a hefty fee? Leave him be? Hide him? (WJFF).

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Thu., March 3, 8:45 p.m.

 

Raise the Roof

Directed by Yari Wolinsky and Cary Wolinsky

(U.S./Poland, 2014, 85 min.)

Inspired by images of magnificent wooden synagogues in 18th-century Poland — the last of which were destroyed by the Nazis—artists Rick and Laura Brown set out to reconstruct a replica of the stunning, mural-covered Gwozdziec synagogue (WJFF).

Washington DCJCC

Tue., March 1, 8:30 p.m.

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Thu., March 3, 6:30 p.m.

 

Russian

Natasha

Directed by David Bezmozgis

(Canada, 2015, 93 min.)

Sixteen-year-old Mark Berman, the son of Latvian-Jewish immigrants, wiles away his hours reading Nietzsche, smoking pot and watching porn. His slacker lifestyle is upended when a 14-year-old hurricane, named Natasha, enters the picture (WJFF).

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Thu., March 3, 8:30 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., March 5, 6:15 p.m.

 

Spanish

Dirty Wolves

Directed by Simón de Miguel

(Spain, 2015, 105 min.)

In this World War II thriller imbued with notes of magical realism, Manuela works in the tungsten mines in rural Galicia. A ruthless Nazi brigade, intent on harvesting the rare metal to feed the Third Reich's war machine, has captured the mines. When Manuela's sister helps a Jewish prisoner cross the border to Portugal, they are unwittingly forced into a desperate test (WJFF; Spanish and German).

Avalon Theatre

Tue., March 1, 8:45 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre

Wed., March 2, 6:45 p.m.

 

The Pearl Button

Directed by Patricio Guzmán

(Chile/France/Spain, 2014, 82 min.)

Chile's 2,670-mile-long coastline encompasses the world's largest archipelago, and the waters that flow through it contain the memories of an entire nation: the lost voices of the indigenous Patagonians, the conquests of the first colonizers, and the ghosts of political prisoners drowned during the Pinochet presidency (EFF; Spanish and Kawésqar).

Inter-American Development Bank

Thu., March 24, 6 p.m.

 

Swahili

Aisha

Directed by Chande Omar

(Tanzania, 2015, 112 min.)

Aisha, a young, ambitious businesswoman living in the city, returns to the village of her youth to attend her little sister's wedding only to confront the demons of her past (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

 

Tamashek

Rain the Color Blue With a Little Red In It

Directed by Christopher Kirkley

(Niger, 2015, 75 min.)

This rollicking rock-u-drama tells the universal story of a musician trying to make it "against all odds," set against the backdrop of the raucous subculture of Tuareg guitar (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre

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

Last Edited on March 1, 2016