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OCT. 3-12

Consistently among the most interesting of D.C.’s annual regional film fests, Arabian Sights shows the wealth of experience in a region the American mass media usually paint with broad, stereotypical strokes. Hany Abu-Assad, who made Nazareth 2000 and Rana’s Wedding, takes another view of lives defined by Israeli roadblocks in Ford Transit (at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, and at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10), a wry, revealing documentary about a Palestinian cabdriver and his outspoken customers. Under Another Sky (at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, and at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4) intriguingly combines family and political issues: A youth who committed a crime in France flees to his ancestral home in Algeria, where he finds feuding cousins and the threat of Islamic terrorists. In less polarized Tunisia, a phlegmatic man returns from overseas to take a job in The Bookstore (pictured; at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, and at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4), only to find himself at the center of family upheavals. Also from Tunisia are The Magic Box (at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, and Sunday, Oct. 12), in which a filmmaker recalls his childhood relationship with cinema, and Bedwin Hacker (at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5), the tale of a female media jammer who interrupts foreign TV broadcasts with Arabic messages. Cannes prize-winner A Thousand Months (at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, and at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12) is the story of a Moroccan 7-year-old who doesn’t know that his father has been imprisoned for leading a strike. The festival opens at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 (see Showtimes for a complete schedule), at Loews Cineplex Wisconsin Avenue, 4000 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $9. (202) 724-5613. (Mark Jenkins)