Things to Do

Culture Vulture

A compilation of interesting—and, most important, free—lectures, cultural events, and more throughout the week.

Monday, May 4
Author Nadje Al-Ali will discuss her book, What Kind of Liberation?: Women and the Occupation of Iraq, at the 14th and V streets, Northwest, location of Busboys and Poets at 6:30. Al-Ali’s book is based on interviews with Iraqi women’s-rights activists, international policymakers, and NGO workers. It’s the first book to examine how Iraqi women have fared since the invasion.

Tuesday, May 5
Good Morning America commentator Lee Woodruff, coauthor of In an Instant, about her husband Bob Woodruff’s roadside-bomb injury in Iraq while on assignment for ABC News, returns with the more lighthearted Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress. The book humorously details the day-to-day struggle of raising a family and growing older. She’ll be at Politics and Prose at 7.

Wednesday, May 6
Moroccan-American novelist and essayist Laila Lalami brings her new book, Secret Son, to the L Street, Northwest, location of Borders at 6:30. Lalami’s book centers around a young man from a Casablanca slum who discovers that his dead father is actually a living and wealthy businessman.

Thursday, May 7
The National Archives presents “The Big Picture: The Evolution of the Wide Screen Film,” an illustrated lecture by Rob Hummel. Hummel will trace the history of motion-picture formats from the silent era to the 21st century. Following the lecture, he will screen the 1988 Francis Ford Coppola film, Tucker: The Man and His Dream. The event will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater at 7.

Friday, May 8
The Ethos Percussion Group, Ghanaian xylophone player Bernard Woma, and Guinean drummer M’bembe Bangoura will perform chamber works for percussion by Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, and Robert Levin as well as traditional new African pieces at the Library of Congress. The concerts, from 8 to 10, will be held in the Coolidge Auditorium.

Saturday, May 9
The National Gallery of Art screens avant-garde filmmaker James Benning’s RR at 2:30 in its East Building auditorium. The movie, filmed in 16 mm, is Benning’s ode to freight trains and the terrain they travel over.

Sunday, May 10
The Freer and Sackler galleries screen Man With Three Coffins at 2 in the Meyer Auditorium. Lee Jang-ho’s 1987 film, part of the Korean Film Festival, follows two travelers—a man carrying his wife’s ashes to her hometown and a nurse taking a dying CEO to his—who cross paths near the Demilitarized Zone.

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