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Of the AFI Silver Theatre’s many repertory series, its Latin American Film Festival is probably the meatiest. In its 22nd year, the event once again features the usual mix of smart documentaries, regional blockbusters, and highbrow Cannes and Oscar submissions from the 20 countries represented. The Mexican Suitcase, the documentary that opened the festival Thursday night (and also shows on Saturday), delves into a stash of photographs taken during the Spanish Civil War but not discovered in a Mexico City closet until 2007. Other films getting a major push from AFI include Medianeras (tonight and Saturday), an Argentinian love story with a Manhattan-like tour of Buenos Aires, and Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within (Sept. 30 and Oct. 1), a cop flick with the texture and name of a Call of Duty installment. (The film also has the distinction of being the top-grossing film in Brazilian history.) But the most intriguing entry in the 42-film schedule might be Blackthorn (pictured, Oct. 8 and 11), a sequel to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with Sam Shepard as the famed outlaw Cassidy eking out a living in 1920s Bolivia.
The Latin American Film Festival runs to Oct. 12 at AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. $12 per film; passes available. (301) 495-6700.