JANUARY 20-FEBRUARY 5

Of the six films in this year’s festival of contemporary Arab cinema, three are U.S. premieres and two more are D.C. premieres. The highlight, however, may be a movie that showed last year at the Hirshhorn: Elia Suleiman’s wry Chronicle of a Disappearance is a meditation on Palestinian identity in Israeli-run Jerusalem that’s part travelogue, part autobiography, and part deadpan comedy (pictured, Jan. 20 at 8:30 p.m., Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m.). The other films are Romantica, a semiautobiographical debut about a young Egyptian filmmaker (Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 22 at 8:30 p.m.); The Captain, a stylized portrait of free-spirited police commissioner in Port Said during the 1948 War, which will be introduced by director Sayed Said (Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.); Bye-Bye, an account of Franco-Arab life in Marseilles (Jan. 29 at 6:30 & 8:30 p.m.); Life…My Passion, a romantic comedy about women’s roles in contemporary Egypt (Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 5 at 8:30 p.m.); and Sous les pieds des femmes, a tale of love and revolution between Algerians in 1958 that was a sensation in France (Feb. 3 at 8:30 p.m., Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m.). At the Cineplex Odeon Tenley Theater, 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $6.50. (202) 724-5613. (Mark Jenkins)

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