William Kentridge tackles some serious political topics in his animated films—but, though his method might suggest otherwise, environmental conservation isn’t one of them. Instead of using separate paper drawings for each frame, the South African–born filmmaker creates one charcoal-based drawing, photographs it, then erases and makes changes to specific parts of the original drawing before committing the adjusted piece to film in order to simulate movement. The end result is that the erased portions leave a charcoal trace—a commentary on memory and the passage of time. The short films in Kentridge’s “9 Drawings for Projection” series, which deal primarily with apartheid, and its lasting effects, in South Africa, will be accompanied by a live musical performance of Philip Miller’s original score; also included is a screening of Journey to the Moon, Kentridge’s homage to French director Georges Méliès’ 1902 silent film, A Trip to the Moon. The films show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, and Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $38. (202) 467-4600. —-Matthew Borlik