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7

SUNDAY

To fans of Eudora Welty’s fiction, it may seem impossible to capture her Mississippi wit on film. To this day, no filmmaker has produced a feature-length adaptation of her work for theatrical release. Three, however, have woven her plots into short films, which are being presented in conjunction with the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ “Passionate Observer: Photographs by Eudora Welty” exhibition. Jodie Markell’s 1998 Why I Live at the P.O. is the most ambitious and technically accomplished of the three: In addition to directing, Markell gives a strong performance as a woman fed up with her genteelly aggressive family. Francis James’ 1996 The Key—which is aimed at a deaf audience, with dialogue in American Sign Language with English subtitles—is slightly marred by a few jarring wardrobe anachronisms. Bruce Schwartz’s A Worn Path offers a memorable performance from Cora Lee Day as Phoenix Jackson, an achingly old woman on a heartbreaking journey. But most fascinating is a short 1994 interview with Welty made in the wake of Path. As old then as her Jackson, Welty discusses the story with a nuance no dramatization could approach. The program starts at 7 p.m. at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. $6. (202) 783-5000. (Mike DeBonis)