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SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Hungary’s 20th-century history is more likely to inspire tragedy than comedy, but now that the nation has moved from the Soviet Bloc to the European Union, it’s time to lighten up. In this survey of recent Hungarian comedies, some of the films’ principal characters have repatriated to a Hungary they don’t quite recognize: In Stracciatella, a recently returned conductor has a nervous breakdown, only to find love—and further complications—in the asylum (at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 4); in Candy Blue, a new arrival visits with old friends, but seems to have passion only for chocolate (at 2:45 p.m. Sunday, March 5). Other films take advantage of Hungary’s new freedom to comment on the bad old days: The two bungling robbers of Gangster Film are oblivious of the political changes taking place around them (at 4:15 p.m. Sunday, March 5), and 6 to 3 sets the wayback machine for Hungary’s 1953 football showdown with Britain (pictured, at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 4, and 8:15 p.m. Sunday, March 5). And what would an Eastern European comedy series be without farce and black humor? A 10-year-old observes the chaotic goings-on at his uncle’s ramshackle resort hotel in Feri’s Gang, Hungary’s 1998 box-office champ (at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 5), while The Lord’s Lantern in Budapest takes place in a cemetery where the dead won’t stay that way (at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 4, and 6:15 p.m. Sunday, March 5). At the American Film Institute’s National Film Theater, in the Kennedy Center’s Hall of States. $6.50. (202) 785-4600. (Mark Jenkins)