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“Recent Films From Germany”

Transferred this year from the American Film Institute to the Key, the Goethe-Institut’s survey of recent German movies offers an annual update on a cinema that seldom attracts the attention of American commercial distributors. Indeed, the career of the best-established director represented this year, Werner Schroeter, is little more than a rumor in the U.S.; the screening of his Tears of Love (Jan. 21 at 9:25 p.m., pictured), an exploration of the power and meaning of great operatic arias, is rare chance to see one of his films. Also included are some flicks that sound more like traditional genre exercises: Sexy Sadie (Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m.) is a “highly stylized gangster comedy,” Warshots (Jan. 21 at 5:15 p.m.) is a war-correspondent drama set in an unidentified country that is presumably Bosnia, Lea (Jan. 22 at 5:15 p.m.) is a “modern fairy tale” about a woman who as a child witnessed her father’s murder of her mother, Beyond Silence (Jan. 23 at 5:15 p.m.) is the tale of a young woman who becomes estranged from her deaf parents because of her interest in music, Nikolaikirche (Jan. 22 at 9:25 p.m.) concerns an East German architect whose split with her family parallels the collapse of communism, It’s a Jungle Out There (Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 23 at 9:25 p.m.) is a generation-gap “coming-of-age-comedy,” and Workaholic (Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m.) is a “romantic comedy” about a woman who resents her boyfriend’s career obsession. At the Key Theater, 1222 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $7. (202) 333-5100. (Mark Jenkins)