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TO OCT. 15
Love, death, and mysticism are the not unexpected motifs for the latest installment of the Latin American Film Festival. The Latin taste for magical realism can yield movies that are altogether too whimsical or contrived, but many of this year’s entries proved harder-edged. The fest’s final weekend includes at least one such film, Brazil’s Through the Window (Oct. 13), a horror flick for trusting parents in which a retired nurse comes to realize that her coddled adult son has gotten involved in something sinister. There’s also one that’s magical-realist to a fault. Ecuador’s Dreams in the Middle of the World (Oct. 13 and 15) links three half-hour stories about mysterious women. Only they’re not that mysterious to anyone with a passing familiarity with this sort of fevered fiction; two embody the unsettling power of female sexuality, and the other one is—well, go and you’ll find out. Chile’s The Sentimental Teaser (Oct. 13 and 15) is another three-taled film, which connects its episodes via a radio call-in show. Peru’s The Bait (Oct. 14) is about a Mexican fisherwoman who began life as a abandoned baby discovered floating on a raft. Argentina’s Yepeto (Oct. 14 and 15) seems to have a middle-aged professor falling for a student. Mexico’s, Final Rite (Oct. 14 and 15) is the story of a photographer drawn into a spirit world, and Colombia’s Time Out is a tale of revolution, oil exploration, and soccer (Oct. 14 and 15). See Showtimes for details. At the American Film Institute National Film Theater, in the Kennedy Center’s Hall of States. $PRICE TK. (202) 833-2348. (Mark Jenkins)