“My mother is a fish.” That’s the shortest chapter—yes, it’s an entire chapter—in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, the 1930 novel that inspired Czech writer-director Alice Nellis’ 2002 film, Some Secrets. Faulkner’s line doesn’t suit this low-key black comedy, since in Nellis’ scenario it’s Dad who’s dead, not Mom. And there’s no corpse this time, just ashes, which Grandma insists her son wanted returned to his birthplace in Slovakia. Actually, she made that up because she longs to see the old homestead herself—but this is a road movie, so it’s not the destination that matters. It’s the journey, during which Grandma and her unhappily married daughters (played by veteran Czech actress Iva Janzurová and her real-life kids) learn a lot about one another. The film’s Czech title means “The Trip,” but by the time the family reaches the border, revelations have upstaged the scenery. The film shows at 8 p.m. at the Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. $9.75. (202) 966-6000.

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