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Baran (Not rated)

Director: Majid Majidi. With Hossein Abedini, Mohammad Reza Naji, Zahra Bahrami, Hossein Rahimi. (105 min.)

Sterritt **** The unglamorous setting is an Iranian construction site, and the unlikely hero is an Iranian man who falls in love with an Afghan woman after a string of misadventures with an illegal immigrant who works alongside him. Majidi became one of Iran's most internationally famed filmmakers with "Children of Heaven" and "The Color of Paradise," but he far surpasses those sappy melodramas with this expressively filmed story of rivalry, romance, and cultural conflict. In Farsi with English subtitles.

A Grin Without a Cat (Not rated)

Director: Chris Marker. With voices of Jim Broadbent, Cyril Cusack, Robert Kramer. (179 min.)

Sterritt **** This towering documentary spans the world in its overview of the war between left-wing radicalism and right-wing conservativism during the troubled '60s and '70s era. Completed in 1993 from material first assembled in 1977, it reconfirms Marker as one of the most serious-minded and artistically gifted filmmakers in France, or anywhere else. In English, Spanish, and French with English subtitles.

Hollywood Ending (PG-13)

Director: Woody Allen. With Allen, Téa Leoni, Mark Rydell, George Hamilton, Debra Messing. (114 min.)

Sterritt *** See review, page 15.

Home Movie (Not rated)

Director: Chris Smith. With Bill Tregle, Linda Beech, Ben Skora, Darlene Satrinano. (66 min.)

Sterritt *** If one's domestic environment is a kind of autobiography, then the five households visited by this entertaining documentary reveal fascinating lives indeed. One couple lives in a converted missile silo, another in a home designed more for their pet cats than for themselves. Other folks live in a treehouse, an alligator-friendly boathouse, and a suburban house crammed with mechanized gadgets. Home, sweet home, was never like this!

The Mystic Masseur (PG)
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