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28

THURSDAY

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For most filmgoers, Marlon Brando + jungle war will always = Apocalypse Now. But at the time the Vietnam War was as its peak, Brando was starring in an even more politically charged film, Gillo Pontecorvo’s Burn!. Brando plays William Walker, a British agent sent to the Caribbean isle of Queimada in the 1840s to incite a slave rebellion. Although Walker actually likes Jose, the porter he molds into the rebellion’s leader, his real mission is not making revolution but destroying Queimada’s ties to Portugal, thus benefiting British sugar traders. Ten years later, though, Jose is still plaguing the island’s leaders, so Walker is recruited to smash the insurgency he created. Directed in 1968 by the Battle of Algiers veteran, the film is pertinent to both the Vietnam War and the black revolutionary movement, as the dialogue is sometimes overly eager to explain. The tale’s brutal ironies, however, are not overstated. It screens at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677. (Mark Jenkins)