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TO OCT. 14

For those who consider the Arab world monolithic, fanatical, and repressed, the opening film in this festival should be a revelation: Fallen Angels Paradise (at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and Sunday, Oct. 7) is the raucous tale of Tabel, an Egyptian pimp and drug addict whose death allows his estranged bourgeois family to regain control of his reputation; the dead man’s daughter’s plans for a respectable funeral are trashed, however, when Tabel’s lowlife friends take his corpse for one last joyride. Equally clamorous, if somewhat darker, is The Harem of Madame Osmane (pictured, at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and Sunday, Oct. 7), in which a former Algerian revolutionary tries to keep order in an apartment house inhabited mainly by women; because most of the tenants have been injured by unreliable men, Madame Osmane is not enthusiastic when her daughter announces plans to marry. Gender-war clashes continue in a program of shorts (at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7) that includes The Woman Unveiled, a film about a young loudmouth who foolishly tries to seduce a woman dressed in the most forbidding of costumes. The second weekend’s films are more directly political, but not without humor: The absurdist Speakers of Truth (at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, and 9:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14) intercuts two possible biographies for an Algerian journalist who’s receiving death threats, and Nazareth 2000 (part of “Palestine in Focus,” at 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13) is a loose, sometimes comic documentary about redevelopment politics in Palestine. The festival runs to Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Loews Cineplex Foundry Theaters, M and Thomas Jefferson Streets NW. $8. (202) 724-5613. (Mark Jenkins)