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Like Westerners themselves, Western literature and film about Asia ranges from insightful to imperialistic. This series demonstrates some of the range with four films adapted by well-known directors from novels both famed and obscure. A Passage to India (Sept. 22 & 24) is David Lean’s characteristically sumptuous if rather late (1984) vision of Brits (Judy Davis in particular) overwhelmed by the exoticism of India. Lost Horizon (pictured, Sept. 29 & Oct. 1) gives the Frank Capra treatment to James Hilton’s vision of Tibet as paradise. In The River (Oct. 6 & 8), Jean Renoir adapts Rumer Godden’s novel about English children in India, inspiring Satyajit Ray in the process. Unusually political for ’50s Hollywood, George Cukor’s Bhowani Junction (Oct. 13 & 15) tells of an Anglo-Indian woman (Ava Gardner) torn between love and duty. At 7 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Mondays at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th & Jefferson Dr. SW. FREE. (202) 357-3200. (Mark Jenkins)