MARCH 8-APRIL 26

“Festival of Iranian Cinema”

Vietnamese restaurants aren’t this city’s only benefit from our country’s geopolitical misadventures; we also get Iranian films, which include some of the best being made anywhere today. This series of seven recent films includes a reprise of writer-director Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s gemlike Gabbeh, a poetic reverie about nomadic life in which a young woman comes to life from an image woven into a carpet (March 27 at 7 p.m., March 29 at 2 p.m.). Also included are Dariush Mehrjui’s Leila, in which the husband in an upscale but infertile couple is pressured to take a second wife (pictured, March 8 at 2 p.m., March 13 at 7 p.m.), and Abolfazl Jalili’s Det Means Girl, the tale of a family that seeks a mystical cure for its paralyzed young daughter (March 20 at 7 p.m., March 22 at 2 p.m.). Two films by Kianoush Ayyari are showing: Beyond Fire is an account of a family split by avarice when an oil company offers to buy its land (April 3 at 7 p.m.), while The Abadanis follows a poor taxi driver’s search for his stolen car (April 17 at 7 p.m.). Taste of Cherry, Abbas Kiarostami’s Cannes best-film winner about a man considering suicide, should draw the biggest crowds, but this screening (April 26 at 2 p.m.) won’t be the only chance to see the film; it’s scheduled for a two-week run at the American Film Institute in May. At the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th & Jefferson Dr. SW. FREE. (202) 357-3200. (Mark Jenkins)