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Most of Jacques Rivette’s films are about young women and the nexus between life and performance, so it’s only logical that he would eventually turn to the tale of Joan of Arc, the teenager who convinced her nation that she’d been cast in a lead role by God. Even less surprising, given that Rivette’s films luxuriate in length—his longest, Out 1, runs over 12 hours—is the fact that Joan the Maid is over five hours long. Though it won’t hurt to see the 1994 two-part epic’s first installment, The Battles (at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23), beforehand, The Prisons stands on its own as a film. Avoiding much of the courtroom drama that’s already been famously filmed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and Robert Bresson, Rivette concentrates on the politics of Joan’s plight—including sexual politics: “If I had had women around me,” she says, “this would not have happened.” The film shows at 2 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)