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THURSDAY

The Germans invented the city film, with poetic documentaries such as Berlin: Symphony of a Great City and visionary fables such as Metropolis (currently playing at the American Film Institute). These days, however, the urban-cinema action is in Latin America, where movies such as Mexico’s Amores Perros and Argentina’s Moebius derive their energy from the teeming and often ominous streets. Brazil’s Sao Paulo, perhaps the most chaotic Latin American metropolis, is the setting, and to a large extent the subject, of Urbania (Return). Transpiring over the course of 24 hours, the movie mixes documentary and fiction as it follows two guys who explore the city in a convertible. One of them is an old blind man who lived in Sao Paulo in the ’50s, when both he and the place were doing well. But now even the sightless can perceive that contemporary Sao Paulo is a golden city no more. Flavio Frederico’s film screens at 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 357-3091. (Mark Jenkins)