MONDAY

Germany and Israel initiated diplomatic relations 40 years ago, but official communiqués aren’t always the best way to bridge longstanding rifts. At least it’s hard to imagine a government document that would be as lively as Israeli filmmakers Solo Avital and Adam Horowitz’s Art Liberates (pictured), a quick-cut survey of German, American, and Israeli artists in contemporary Berlin and their various perspectives on the legacy of Nazism and the Holocaust. The camera spins through the city, which one artist calls a “dark place” whose very darkness is “good for the arts,” paced by snatches of techno, postrock, hiphop, and reggae, rarely spending more than a minute with any talking head. Germans candidly discuss the thoughts and actions of their parents and grandparents and the end of nationalism (“Maybe it’s not wrong, but it’s not important”). Israelis yell at Hitler’s corpse and ponder the appeal of German technology in the form of a century-old toy-railroad shop. And both agree, more or less, on the specialness of Berlin, a place without the usual pieties. The documentary is shown with a German filmmaker’s look at Israel, Anna Faroqhi’s House and Desert, which chronicles the young country’s history by surveying homes and their inhabitants. Faroqhi will discuss her documentary after the screening of the two films, both of which run about an hour. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Goethe Institut’s Goethe Forum, 814 7th St. NW. $6. (202) 289-1200. (Mark Jenkins)