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JUNE 16– JULY 7
Two millennia after the Romans shattered Celtic Europe, the remaining Celtic lands—there are either six or seven; it’s a long story—still haven’t developed a sizable culture of opposition. Witness the fact that, of these four recent films from Ireland and Wales, two of them have Jewish protagonists, and there’s probably as much Yiddish dialogue as Welsh or Gaelic. Sean Walsh’s Bloom distills James Joyce’s Ulysses mostly to Leopold Bloom (Stephen Rea) and matters of sex, excretion, and anti-Semitism. The result is more pungent than the book, but unfair to its author’s range and mastery. (This screening will take place at on Bloomsday, June 16.) Paul Morrison’s Solomon and Gaenor (pictured; June 23) is set in early-20th-century south Wales, where a Jewish traveling salesman (Ioan Gruffudd) falls for the daughter of strict chapel-going Protestants. Neither family consents to the match, which is further complicated when out-of-work miners start looting Jewish shops—a development based on historical events. In Damien O’Donnell’s Rory O’Shea Was Here (June 30), two young Irishmen, Michael and Rory, manage to escape from the Carrigmore Home of the Disabled and discover the complications of the outside world, including romance with the feisty caretaker they hire. Amma Asante’s A Way of Life (July 7) focuses on a teenage mother, Leigh-Anne, and her three friends, whose concerns include escaping their neighborhood, finding love, and maintaining a Welsh identity. Despite good intentions, the youths’ rage, boredom, and alienation don’t lead to an auspicious resolution. The series runs from Thursday, June 16, to Thursday, July 7 (all screenings are Thursdays at 7 p.m.; see Showtimes for a weekly schedule), at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. $13. (202) 357-3030. (Mark Jenkins)