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Berlin, like Washington, is a capital city that’s constantly debating how to reinvent public space while maintaining an historical character. That might explain why the German cultural organization Goethe-Institut is interested in the District’s changing neighborhoods: Tonight it shows a pair of D.C.-set documentaries as part of its “Parks & Passages” program, which sent local artists to Germany to study urban transformation last summer. The 2007 documentary Chocolate City looks at several former residents of the shuttered Arthur Capper public housing projects, focusing on women who fought to return to the neighborhood after they were forced to leave. It’s preceded by Community Harvest, a short about the North Columbia Heights Green, a public garden that sprouted from a vacant lot. After the film, stick around to hear both films’ directors rap about economic and political upheaval in D.C. It’s a topic familiar to locals, but one that offers no shortage of perspectives.
The films show at 6:30 p.m. at the Goethe-Institut, 812 7th St. NW. $4–$7. goethe.de/washington. (202) 289-1200.