IF YOU'RE TIRED of the foofaraw of the typical Hollywood movie and yearn for something tougher and more honest, you might drop in on the American Film Institute's Silverdocs festival, which opens Tuesday and runs through Sunday. Opening night (the fest is held at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring) will feature the world premiere of "Seeds," a look at the interaction among teenagers from Israel, Palestine, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan at a "Seeds for Peace" International Camp in Maine. When it was over, three were dead and -- no, no, I'm kidding -- it worked out quite fine and in the spirit of peace and reconciliation, thank you, as the film, by Marjan Safinia and Joseph Boyle, makes clear. Co-sponsored by the Discovery Channel, the festival will show 10 features and dozens of shorter films.
-- Stephen Hunter
At the AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. Tuesday at 7 p.m. $40. For complete schedule and ticket information, call 301-495-6776 or visit www.silverdocs.com.
MF DOOM HASN'T ALWAYS rapped wearing an iron mask. That started in 1998, after a lengthy hiatus from the music business, when he decided he wanted a little privacy with his fame. There's the superhero angle, too -- Doom, who was born Daniel Dumile, says he's long felt a kinship with the Marvel Comics character Dr. Doom, an antihero who wore a mask to conceal the scars on his face. If MF took any of this seriously, his act would seem preposterous. Fortunately, he's one of the wittiest, nimblest wordsmiths out there, and his new album -- "Madvillainy," a collaboration with a multitalented DJ named Madlib -- is often hysterical. And when it's not hysterical, it's perplexing, arresting, thought-provoking or just plain silly.
-- David Segal
At the 9:30 club, 815 V St. NW. Tonight at 7:30. $20. Call 202-393-0930 or visit www.930.com.
PROTEAN ARTIST NIKKI S. LEE must own enough disguises to fill a costume shop. In photographic projects capturing her young Asian American self among members of various ethnic and cultural groups, she invites us to play a sophisticated version of Where's Waldo -- one replete with cultural critique. For her latest project, "Parts," which opened at Numark this weekend, she replaces tribal relationships with interpersonal ones. Here, Lee plays a variety of women -- from careerists to the ghetto fabulous -- photographed alongside their men. Thing is, we never see the fellas: Each hovers just outside the frame, save this or that body part -- an ear, perhaps, or a forearm or leg. We're left wondering what bits and parts add up to a relationship, and what, if any, truths photographs can tell.
-- Jessica Dawson
At Numark Gallery, 625 E St. NW, through July 24. Open 11 a.m.-
7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Free. Call 202-628-3810 or visit www.numarkgallery.com.