There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
When Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski (known best stateside for his Three Colors trilogy) died in 1996, he left behind more than an impressive filmography. Friend and Kieslowski film regular Jerzy Stuhr discovered an unfinished 1973 screenplay among the director’s belongings and brought The Big Animal to the screen in 2000. The story unfolds in a small Polish town, where a 7-foot-tall camelleft behind by a traveling circuswanders into the yard of bank clerk Zygmunt and his wife (played by Stuhr and his wife). At first supportive of the couple’s unusual new pet, the townspeople soon become distrustful of the animal and its owners, ostracizing them from the close-knit, conformist community. Stuhr’s film is quiet and sweet, and the muted black-and-white cinematography and understated performances never distract from Kieslowski’s simple, affecting sketch of small minds in a small town. The film screens at 7:15 and 9 p.m. (see Showtimes for other dates) at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Jason Powell)