26

SATURDAY

As if to represent its voyage into previously unexplored territory, Czech New Wave director Frantisek Vlacil’s Adelheid opens in black and white—the mode of the filmmaker’s best-known work—but becomes full-color as the train carrying its protagonist arrives home. The film is set just after World War II, when a returning Czech RAF veteran finds that the house he’s been assigned is the former residence of a brutal Nazi. The German’s daughter is still in residence, but now as a servant who “understands as much as a dog would” of the returning hero’s language. Thrust together, Czech and German feel both tender toward and suspicious of each other. As in the director’s films set in medieval times, individual sentiments are eventually trumped by larger forces. The film is shown with The White Dove, Vlacil’s near-wordless 1960 debut feature—which is more characteristic of his poetic style—at 2:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (MJ)