TO JUNE 27

Officially, Turkey is the United States’ ally and Iran is its enemy, yet Washington audiences see a lot more Iranian films than Turkish ones. Indeed, the current Steam, an Italian-Spanish-Turkish co-production, is the first Turkish film to play commercially here since Yol almost two decades ago. This retrospective picks up some of the slack, showcasing nine films made in Turkey since 1993. Among the likely highlights are two films screening this weekend: Dervis Zaim’s Somersault in a Coffin (Friday, May 7, at 7 p.m.), an account of a homeless alcoholic’s random exploits—including stealing a peacock from a park—that London’s Time Out deemed “very likely the best Turkish movie of the 1990s”; and The Bandit (Saturday, May 8, at 7 p.m.), in which director Yazuv Turgul treats his protagonist, a gangster released from jail after 35 years, like the hero of an elegiac American western. Other films include Lobster Pot (Sunday, May 9, at 2 p.m.), the tale of a family reunion; Innocence (Tuesday, June 3, at 7 p.m.), in which an ex-con takes care of a disabled girl; Traces (Friday, June 11, at 7 p.m.), a suicide-investigation movie directed by one of Turkey’s newest women directors, Yesim Ustaoglu; The Town (pictured; Sunday, June 20, at 2 p.m.), which takes a child’s’-eye view of a typical Turkish village; and Cholera Street (Thursday, June 24, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 27, at 2 p.m.), a love story that unfolds in a rundown Istanbul neighborhood. At the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th & Jefferson Drive SW. Free. (202) 357-4880. (Mark Jenkins)

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