Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

22

MONDAY

The venerable man-against-nature theme gets a suitably old-fashioned treatment in Rutenberg, Israeli director Eli Cohen’s big-shouldered 2002 biopic. Actually, nature is a minor player in the tale, although the collapse of an earthen canal bank is the movie’s major action sequence. Russian-born Pinchas (né Pyotr) Rutenberg brought hydroelectric power to Palestine in 1932, both as a gift to his new country and out of sheer fascination with electricity’s crackle. But first he had to get permission from Palestine’s overlords, the British, who were reluctant to deal with a former Bolshevik. In an elaborate skein of flashbacks, Rutenberg shows how its hero destroyed his marriage, murdered a priestly enemy of the Russian Revolution, and harangued his reluctant associates into supporting his dam dream. Or at least that’s how things go in this based-on-a-true story, which may not be authoritative but is most definitely vivid. The film screens at 7 p.m. at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center’s Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, 1529 16th St. NW. $9. (202)777-3248. (Mark Jenkins)