We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Although its title suggests a political thriller, Elia Suleiman’s Chronicle of a Disappearance is more Jim Jarmusch than Costa-Gavras. The disappearance in question is Palestinian identity in Israeli-run Jerusalem, and the director’s response is part travelogue, part autobiography, part deadpan comedy. Featuring Suleiman himself in a Chaplinesque role, the film contemplates the director’s parents, oblivious tourists, frantically aimless Israeli security police, and a young woman named Aden, who’s too modern to live on the Palestinian side of town, but too Arab to live on the Jewish side. This smart, cool, formalistic film is likely to outrage those who insist on the urgency of the Israeli/Palestinian struggle, but it might open a few eyes to that conflict’s futility. As for Suleiman, who returned to his native Israel after a spell in New York, he notes, “I moved to Jerusalem to be closer to the airport.” At 8 p.m. at Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th & Independence Ave. SW. FREE. (202) 357-2700. (MJ)