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28

MONDAY

Julia is not your average unruly teenager. The protagonist of Kroko is hateful toward her mother, her friends, and just about everyone else. Her relationship with her thuggish boyfriend is one of mutual disrespect, and her idea of a bonding experience with her little half-sister is to take her on a shoplifting spree. Then one night she commandeers a guy’s car and slams into a cyclist. Sentenced to community service at a home for “retards”—where she insists on being called “Kroko”—Julia finds herself getting attached to some of the residents. But this is Berlin, not Hollywood: Don’t expect Julia and her life to be transformed in time for the final scene. Presented in tandem with “The Art of Being of German,” a photographic exhibition that opens Dec. 7, the ”Young and German” film series—which opens today—offers five cinematic views of contemporary German youth. It opens with We, a coming-of-age story set in Berlin, where longtime friends navigate the challenges of a post-school summer. En Route leaves the capital for Poland’s Baltic coast, where three friends (one with a young daughter) establish an impromptu family. In Am I Sexy?, a 15-year-old who wants to become a model develops her erotic self-assurance through belly-dancing, only to have her ambitions threatened. The program ends with Karamuk, in which a 17-year-old girl discovers that her father is a Turk, and gets to know him by working in his Cologne restaurant. All screenings on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. (see Showtimes for a weekly schedule) at the Goethe Institut’s Goethe Forum, 814 7th St. NW. $5. (202) 289-1200. (MJ)