SOVIET director Alexander Zeldovich will be at hand to discuss his new movie "Sunset" when it screens this weekend at the American Film Institute.

"Sunset, a tragicomedy, is based on tales by Russian Jewish author Isaac Babel, who was arrested by Stalin in 1939 and died two years later. His work was banned in the Soviet Union for two decades.

Soviet film critic and magazine editor Felix Andreev will accompany Zeldovich to the AFI screening, Sunday at 6. Admission is $6. For more information, call the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center at 775-1765. For a recorded schedule of AFI events, call 785-4600.

FRIDAY through Tuesday, the Biograph will show a double bill of Laurence Olivier's 1944 "Henry V" and last year's exciting version by Kenneth Branagh. This chance to compare versions will, I suspect, demonstrate that, in some cases at least, they make better movies than they used to.

SWASHBUCKLERS of the world unite, or at least attend Bill Blackwell's "Swashbuckler's Bash," a three-part series being offered at 8 on consecutive Mondays, through the Smithsonian Resident Associates.

A local film scholar and professor, Blackwell will introduce "The Black Pirate," a 1926 film starring Douglas Fairbanks, this Monday; "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938), starring Errol Flynn, Aug. 20; and finally "The Mark of Zorro" (1940), with Tyrone Power, Aug. 27. They screen in the National Museum of American History's Carmichael Auditorium.

Series admission is $19, or $7.50 for individual shows. Call 357-3030 to register.