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OPENS JAN. 9

For Iranian directors such as Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi, one ongoing issue is how to bring the action outside. Because Islamic censors won’t allow them to depict women as they actually dress in their homes, these filmmakers look for scenarios that keep people on the street. Thus road or quest movies, the motif of the Freer’s eighth annual survey of Iranian cinema. It opens with the local premiere of Panahi’s Crimson Gold (at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9; at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11), the harsh tale of a pizza-delivery guy who sees how the other half lives as he makes his rounds, and who ultimately turns to a desperate act. The other D.C. premiere is Amir-Shahab Razavian’s Tehran 7:00 A.M. (at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6; at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8), which tells the stories of several characters who happen to arrive simultaneously at the same intersection. Also featured are Kurdish-Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi’s Marooned in Iraq (at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16; at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25), which travels from Iran to Iraq, and from farce to desolation; Alireza Amini’s lovely Letters in the Wind (at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30; at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1), in which a tape recording of Tehran street sounds beguiles recruits at a remote army base; and Kiarostami’s brilliant conceptual coup Ten (pictured; at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13; at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15), set entirely in the car of a young Tehran divorcée. The series opens Friday, Jan. 9, at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th Street and Jefferson Drive SW. Free. (202) 633-4880. (Mark Jenkins)