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TO JULY 6
Boosted in part by the return of émigré filmmakers who had spent the Nazi era in Hollywood, German cinema rebounded with surprising vigor in the 15 years after World War II. This eight-film selection from a larger retrospective, “After the War, Before the Wall”also the source of a series that played last fall at the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationeshighlights movies about the war and its aftermath. An automobile provides the voice-over commentary for In Those Days (at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 29), which surveys 1933 to 1947 via the car’s seven former owners, including a composer condemned for writing “decadent” music, a Jewish shop owner contemplating suicide, and a justifiably edgy driver on the Russian front. In The Bridge (at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, June 28 and 8:30 p.m. Monday, June 30), seven idealistic high-school boys, conscripted into Hitler’s doomed army in 1945, take a pointless stand. The pathology of Hitler’s Germany is also expressed by two very different psycho-killer movies, both directed by Germans repatriated from Hollywood: In Robert Siodmak’s surprisingly witty and urbane The Devil Strikes at Night (9 p.m. Sunday, June 29), an eastern-front hero captures a serial killer, only to be told by the SS that the case must be suppressed; in Peter Lorre’s ’20s-Expressionist-style The Lost Man (pictured; at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, July 3 and 4:45 p.m. Saturday, July 5), an easygoing scientist is driven to murder by a Gestapo conspiracy against him. The series runs to Sunday, July 6, at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Mark Jenkins)