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MARCH 4–11

The protagonist of Osama is not the only child to suffer under the Islamic-extremist form of indoctrination, and Afghanistan is not the only country where such things happen. A rough-edged but energetic Senegalese film, Almodou (at 7 p.m. Friday, March 5; at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6) opens with a greedy Koranic teacher abusing his students and quickly becomes the story of a young “taliban”—a student of Islam—set on fleeing his instructor for freedom in Dakar. It’s one of eight recent features—including two U.S. premieres—in this year’s New African Films Festival, which also includes several short films and two panel discussions about AIDS and new technology. African cinema often features tales of life in Europe, such as Guinea’s Paris According to Moussa (at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 6; at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 7), in which a trip to buy a new water pump soon becomes an introduction to life in France’s beleaguered yet supportive African community, and the Ivory Coast’s Betting on Love (at 9:15 p.m. Friday, March 5; at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, March 6), which follows a hairdresser who ditches her fiancé for the Parisian high life after winning big at the track. Other selections include a Tanzanian account of spiritual awakening, Maangamizi: The Ancient One (at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, March 6; at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, March 7), and the Central African Republic’s The Forest (pictured; at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11), in which a school inspector seeks to protect pygmies from discrimination. The series runs to Thursday, March 11 (see Showtimes for a complete schedule), at Visions Bar Noir, 1927 Florida Ave. NW. $9–$12. (202) 667-0090. (Mark Jenkins)