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Filmfest DC

If you were to die and discover the afterlife is a room filled with mobs of frustrated elderly folks, you might be disappointed. If you’re Paolo, the protagonist of director Daniele Luchetti’s 2019 film Ordinary Happiness, you’re in luck: Due to a clerical error, you’ll be able to return to life for 92 minutes—just enough time to figure out the meaning of existence. This playful film opens the all-virtual 34th annual Washington, D.C. International Film Festival, a 10-day celebration of 51 films from 35 countries that will be released in two series and close with the French social realist comedy Perfumes, directed by Grégory Magne. For $9, you can watch a Palestinian road movie about a couple driving to Israel to file for divorce (Between Heaven and Earth, directed by Najwa Najjar), a Bengali film about a woman’s push to unionize the seamstresses at the garment factory where she works (Made in Bangladesh, directed by Rubaiyat Hossain), or the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize-winning Peruvian documentary about Máxima Acuña, a subsistence farmer and activist (Máxima, directed by Claudia Sparrow). Series 1 of Filmfest DC will be available from Oct. 2 to 6, and Series 2 will be available Oct. 7 to 11. The event begins Oct. 2 at $9–$70. —Amy Guay