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TO JUNE 29
The world’s largest film industry doesn’t yield much product for export. In fact, most Western cineastes could probably name only one Indian director, Satyajit Ray. If they could think of another, however, it would likely be Shyam Benegal, who graduated from ad-copywriter to TV-commercial-maker to documentary and fiction filmmaker. The Freer Gallery’s retrospective reaches as far back as the Bombay-based director’s second film, 1975’s Night’s End (June 8 at 2 p.m.) and forward to 1996’s The Making of the Mahatma (shown June 5), an account of Gandhi’s 21 years in South Africa. Benegal is known for tales of rural peasant life, but this series also includes historical dramas about the anti-British uprising of 1857 (The Obsession, June 15 at 2 p.m.) and the decline of the Portuguese aristocracy that once ruled Goa (Trikal: Past, Present, and Future, June 29 at 2 p.m.). Also included are The Machine Age (June 22 at 2 p.m.), a story of feuding industrial families inspired by an episode from the Mahabharata, The Seventh Horse of the Sun (June 26 at 7 p.m.), in which a boastful bachelor regales his friends with his sexual history, and The Churning (Manthan) (pictured, June 12 at 7 p.m.), about a government attempt to build a milk cooperative. At the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th & Jefferson Dr. SW. FREE. (202) 357-3200. (Mark Jenkins)