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In the four years that followed the end of World War II, Taiwan was convulsed not once but twice. The population tentatively breathed free after decades of Japanese political and cultural oppression, only to be presented with a new ruling class when the beaten Nationalists arrived from the mainland. In his serenely sweeping A City of Sadness, Hou Hsiao-hsien embodies the period in a single family, whose four sons are involved in a variety of criminal and political underworlds. The result is epic yet intimate, historic yet personal. At 7 p.m. tonight & 2 p.m. Sunday at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th & Jefferson Dr. SW. FREE. (202) 357-3200. (Mark Jenkins)