JULY 1-9

Robert Kramer was the filmmaker that Jean-Luc Godard wanted to be—at least from 1967 to 1971. Kramer was a Newark community organizer who founded a collective to make radical political films during the height of the anti-Vietnam War era. Naturally, Kramer was more appreciated in Europe than in New Jersey, and he spent the latter part of his life in France. (He died last year at 60.) Yet he often returned home to make his documentaries, fascinated by the vast unfinished canvas that is America. That fascination is obvious from the epic that begins this series: 1989’s Route One/USA, a four-hour odyssey (edited from 65 hours of raw footage) from Maine to Miami along the highway that I-95 supplanted (at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 1). Kramer also returned to Hanoi 25 years after his first visit for 1993’s Starting Place, which captures the city’s continuing adjustment to its bitter past (at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 2). The series’ two other features are family matters: In 1996’s semifictional Walk the Walk, a daughter wants to leave her interracial family (screened with the short Ghosts of Electricity at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 8); in 1987’s Doc’s Kingdom, one of Kramer’s longtime friends, self-exiled in Portugal, has an uneasy meeting with his estranged son (at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 9). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)