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22

THURSDAY

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Female taxi drivers are unusual in Washington, but they’re an abomination in Algeria, where Islamic hard-liners try to prevent women from doing any kind of work outside the home. Belkacem Hadjadj’s 52-minute documentary, A Female Cabby in Sidi Bel-Abbes, focuses on Soumicha, the only woman driving a cab in her Algerian city. She took the job to feed her three children after her husband died, but it soon became more than work. Traveling through the city, Soumicha is both a witness to and a catalyst for expressions of conflict and contradiction: Women encourage her, and recount their own struggles with Algeria’s patriarchal society; men remonstrate her, yet are happy there’s a hack with whom they can trust their wives and daughters. Then a rumor spreads that Soumicha has been killed, and friends and critics alike gather for the latest news, hoping for a glimpse of her yellow Renault. Find out what happens at 7 p.m. at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art’s Second Level Lecture Hall, 950 Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 357-4600 (Mark Jenkins)