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Wednesday

Long before Oprah enlisted Halle Berry to play Janie Crawford in last year’s TV-movie version of Their Eyes Were Watching God, high-school girls aspired to be as badass and beautiful as the heroine of Zora Neale Hurston’s 1937 novel. And Hurston herself followed Janie’s advice—“You got tuh go there tuh know there”—in 1940 when she traveled to South Carolina to study rural African-American life. The Library of Congress has preserved the ethnographic films Hurston shot there and will screen them as the first installment of the Sisters in Cinema series. Most footage shows worshippers at the Commandment Keeper Church in Beaufort, S.C., going into trances. Unsettlingly, the footage is mostly silent—the library is still working on getting the sound synchronized. Hurston’s films show at 7 p.m. at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. $5. (202) 783-5000. (Rachel Beckman)