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19

THURSDAY

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When the Y2K scare menaced all the world’s silicon-based lifestyles, filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako headed from Paris to Sokolo, his Malian father’s small hometown. There human existence continued as before—easygoing, gently comic, and aware of the industrialized world only as something mentioned in radio reports. But Life on Earth wasn’t filmed as 2000 threatened to begin with a meltdown; although it has the feel of a personal documentary, the movie was really made in 1998, as part of a French TV series on the imminent millennium, Y2K Seen By…. Lightly fictionalized and far from tightly scripted, Sissako’s charming essay—set to a suitably beguiling score featuring music by Salif Keita and Anouar Brahem—spends much of its time observing the local postmaster and his humorous quandaries with the village’s only telephone. Yet the director’s voice-overs also muse on the state of post-colonial Africa, sometimes quoting Haitian writer Aimé Césaire. The film screens at 7 p.m. at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Room 3111, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Mark Jenkins)