A movie about how the Ku Klux Klax was awesome was America’s first blockbuster. DJ Spooky has some thoughts on that. (Paul D. Miller)


Rebirth of a Nation

D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film “The Birth of a Nation” is both a seminal part of American cinema and SUPER racist (the “nation” of the title is the Ku Klux Klan). In “Rebirth of a Nation,” musician DJ Spooky (aka Paul D. Miller) reimagines and deconstructs the film live onstage by using video projections to “remix” the images, all set to live musical accompaniment from a string quartet. The Kennedy Center debut of this work will be followed by a moderated discussion with DJ Spooky.
Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW; Tue., 8 p.m., $19-$55.

The Commissioner
If you’re tired of American political intrigue, take a break by watching a story of European political intrigue. “The Commissioner,” a 1998 thriller never released in the U.S., is about a British Cabinet minister (John Hurt) who is sent to Brussels to become the European Union’s commissioner for industry after a scandal threatens his career back home. He gets a tip that there’s a criminal conspiracy that reaches throughout Europe; he then has to decide if doing the right thing is worth his life.
Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE; Thu., 7 p.m., free.

Serenity
For fans of the short-lived cult TV show “Firefly,” the follow-up movie “Serenity” was a way to reunite the old gang, plus get a crushing reminder that with Joss Whedon around, no one is safe. In the writer-director’s 2005 space Western, the ragtag crew of a freighter ship, headed up by Capt. Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), has to evade an assassin out to kill one of their weirdest members. Even if you haven’t seen the TV show — and you should — the film is an easy entry point into the painful, cruel world of Whedon.
Angelika Film Center at Mosaic, 2911 District Ave., Fairfax; Fri. & Sat., 11:45 p.m., $8