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NOV. 12-NOV. 16
Like other English-speaking cinemas, Australia’s has been plundered by Hollywood. Yet there are still notable filmmakers and actors who work mostly or entirely Down Under, as this survey of seven recent (1996-2002) films demonstrates. The opening selection, The Man Who Sued God (at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12; at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15; and at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16), shows Aussie film’s range: In this broad comedy, Scottish actor-comedian Bill Connolly plays a fisherman who returns to his old profession, the law, to take the Almighty to court after his boat’s destruction is ruled an “act of God.” Directed by Mark Joffe (Cosi, Spottswood), the movie features the great Judy Davis as the reporter who puts the case on the front page. Radiance (at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13; at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15; and at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16) and Yolngu Boy (pictured; at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, and at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15) are about Aboriginal characters, but there’s equal emphasis on new immigrants: In the high-pitched, bilingual La Spagnola (at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, and at 12:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16), a recent Spanish immigrant and her daughter plot separate vengeances on the family’s runaway breadwinner; director Clara Law contemplates the lives of her fellow Hong Kong émigrés in Floating Life (at 12:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, and at 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16). The series opens at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Mark Jenkins)