The weekend's best in movies, music and nightlife:
As part of the 11-movie New African Films Festival, the AFI Silver Theatre screens the Oscar nominee "War Witch,” a Canadian-made drama following a 12-year-old girl forced to commit unspeakable acts as a child soldier. If you’re a fan of foreign films, “War Witch,” which snagged a Tribeca Film Festival Founders' Award for Best Narrative Feature, should definitely be on your calendar. It screens Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Be sure you have comfy shoes on for Saturday's D.C. Whiskey Walk, where the goal is to visit eight Dupont Circle bars while tasting high-end Irish whiskey (if you think this is St. Patrick's-related, you'd be right). Stop into Science Club and you’ll find bartenders pouring samples of Powers Special Reserve 12 Year, while Irish Whiskey Public House serves 12-year-old Redbreast. Besides whiskey, the bars will be offering food and beer deals, because nothing goes with a shot of Irish whiskey like a pint of Guinness. For Arlingtonians, there's also Saturday's Shamrock Crawl.
The "snow" (#fail) on Wednesday postponed the kickoff of the DC Independent Film Festival, so if you're a movie buff, you have one extra day to steep yourself in weird and wonderful movies, including "Camera Shy," from the former director of the cult show "The Kids in the Hall."
Buzzworthy twentysomething country singer Maggie Rose, who scored a radio hit with "I Ain't Your Mama" in 2012, grew up Margaret Durante in Potomac. She's now based in Nashville, but she's making a special trip home for shows at the new Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. (Dining area seats require a $15 food-and-drink minimum.) Read more about the club here.
The Cyrus Cylinder is small, but it's hugely important. The clay artifact dates to the sixth century B.C. and is interpreted by many scholars as the first "bill of human rights," as the cylinder's Babylonian cuneiform inscription tells of Cyrus the Great's conquest of Babylon and his declaration of religious freedom for his conquered subjects. The cylinder, on loan from the British Museum, can be viewed at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in the exhibition “The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia,” beginning Saturday. Washington is the first stop on a five-city American tour.
Let's hope the weather clears up before Saturday, when Ben Olsen's D.C. United squad takes to the RFK Stadium pitch for the first home match of 2013 -- with a few changes from the squad that reached the MLS Eastern Conference Championship in 2012. Out is 2010 rookie of the year Andy Najar; in comes talented Guatemalan forward (and noted pest) Carlos Ruiz. As ever, the stands at RFK will be bouncing when the match against Real Salt Lake kicks off at 7 p.m.
Looking for something a little different to do with the kids? Don't miss “Hermitage Cats Save the Day,” a cat caper with a story about stolen art that asks for audience participation to solve the mystery. Parents: This isn't your usual eye-rolling kids' production. With music commissioned by Chris Brubeck (yes, Dave's son) and an ensemble of 10 musicians, the age range says 5 to 10, but it's really for everyone. The hour-long show starts at Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Building.
U Street Music Hall is celebrating its third anniversary with a week of events. Dubfire, the techno DJ that some locals may remember as half of the Grammy-winning duo Deep Dish, kicks things off Sunday. Other dates to watch include hip-hop innovator Grandmaster Flash (Monday) and Kompact Records founder Michael Mayer (Thursday). U Hall's gift to you: All shows next week are $10. Check out the schedule here, and then get in the mood to dance with this playlist, created for the Going Out Guide by Resident DJs Chris Nitti and Morgan Tepper.