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to june 29

Are the kids all right? This series of short films and discussions attempts to answer that question in six different languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Korean (plus English, of course). The schema matches shorts from two of the six countries on five evenings, followed by talks by young people, many of them college students from the respective countries. The sixth and final program (at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at Goethe-Institut Washington) includes films from all the countries, followed by a panel discussion. Some of the shorts have not yet been announced, and only a few were available for preview. The opening event (at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 19, at Goethe-Institut Washington) highlights China and Germany, as well as two rather different views of the older generation: While Jiao Bo’s My Dad, My Mom is an earnest documentary about the sacrifices of the filmmaker’s peasant-farmer parents, Neele Leana Vollmar’s My Parents is a humorous tale of a young woman who asks her folks to pretend to be hip and sexually open to impress her new boyfriend—only to be a little shocked when the previously stolid middle-agers begin to enjoy their assigned roles. The best-known director represented among the announced films is Shunji Iwai, whose Arita is featured in the “Japan and France” lineup (at TK p.m. Thursday, June 22, at the Japan Information and Culture Center). Mixing animation with intimate video, the film is a fable of classic adolescent self-consciousness set in a modern, technocratic Japan—thematically akin to his All About Lily Chou-Chou and Hana and Alice. The series runs to June 29 at the Goethe-Institut Washington, 812 7th St. NW, (202) 289-1200; the Italian Cultural Institute, 2025 M St. NW, (202) 223-9800; the Japan Information and Culture Center, 1155 21st St. NW, (202) 238-6901; and the Alliance Française, 2142 Wyoming Ave. NW, (202) 234-7911. Free; see Showtimes for more details. (Mark Jenkins)