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It’s hardly a surprise that White Sun of the Desert met resistance from Soviet censors after director Vladimir Motyl finished it in 1969. This deadpan comic tale of a supercompetent but painfully earnest Soviet hero finds its protagonist battling bandits while dispensing revolutionary dogma in a remote and arid region. When assigned to escort the members of the villain’s harem, he addresses them as “comrade girls” and futilely tries to convince them they’ve been liberated. Motyl, in D.C. for a two-day engagement at the American Film Institute, will introduce his film, one of Russia’s favorite comedies, at a screening tonight at 8:15 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s AFI National Theater. $6.50. (202) 785-4600. (Mark Jenkins)