Sign up for our free newsletter


With the acclaim for recent films from Mexico (Like Water for Chocolate, Cronos) or made by Mexican directors in Hollywood (The Little Princess), it’s a logical time for an update on the south-of-the-border cinema. This quick overview includes Desert Seas, which juxtaposes a film director’s breakdown with the story the director is writing about a visionary conquistador (Dec. 9, 4:45 p.m.); Untamed Women, in which lower-middle-class women flee their difficult lives, headed for the U.S. (Dec. 10, 4:15 p.m.); and The Edge of the World, which reportedly combines magical realism with the style of Sergio Leone (Dec. 10, 8 p.m.; Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m.). Also featured is A Kiss to This Land (pictured), a documentary about seven now-elderly Jewish men and women who arrived in Mexico from Eastern Europe and the Middle East in the years after World War I, achieving a pleasingly languid rhythm that seems true both to Mexico’s subtropical spirit and to the reflective tone of people contemplating their full lives in an initially exotic culture (Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m.; Dec. 17, 2 p.m.). At the Kennedy Center’s American Film Institute Theater, Kennedy Center. $6.50. (202) 785-4601. (Mark Jenkins)