We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.



Although it’s the last film in what’s commonly called Abbas Kiarostami’s “Earthquake Trilogy,” Through the Olive Trees was not made as part of a master plan. Instead, each movie simply led to the next: In 1991’s And Life Goes On, a director travels to an (actually) earthquake-struck region to see what’s happened to the young performers of the first film, 1987’s Where Is My Friend’s Home? Olive Trees then tells the fictionalized tale of the failed real-life romance of two people cast as newlyweds in the second film. At first, the result may seem unbearably slow, hopelessly self-referential, and as perversely stubborn as its central character. But Kiarostami’s mix of fact and fiction is not merely a filmmaker’s inside joke. The 1994 movie ultimately proves witty and moving, and it coalesces with unexpected grace in the final scene. At 6:30 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Mark Jenkins)