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Arts and Entertainment: Top Picks for the Week

SANTA FE, N.M. — There’s no escaping it: Politics is in the air. Whether you’re interested in the upcoming session of the New Mexico State Legislature or the possibility of the U.S. becoming engaged in a full-fledged war in Iraq, there are events this week to educate yourself and answer your most pressing questions.

SANTA FE JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL: The 11 a.m. screening of the film “Remember Baghdad” is already sold out at the Cinematheque at the CCA on Sunday, Jan. 12, but tickets for an 11:15 a.m. screening were still available at press time.

A still from the film “Remember Baghdad.”

Part of the Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival, this movie tells the story of the exodus of Jews from Iraq, where they had lived for more than 2,500 years, after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

In the film, which uses archival footage, family photos and interviews, we meet the Dangoor family, just as Renée Dangoor is crowned “Miss Baghdad” in the country’s first beauty contest in 1947. She and her husband are set to become part of Baghdad’s elite.

Within a few years of Renée’s victory, the multicultural world of Baghdad has disappeared and Jews are not welcome. By 1951, 120,000 Iraqi Jews abandon their homes to fly 600 miles west to Tel Aviv.

Advance tickets are $8-$12 or $15 at the door. For more information, call 505-216-0672 or go to santafejff.org.

POT OR NOT?: Will this be the year that recreational marijuana is legalized in New Mexico? Gain some insight into this and other hot-button issues, such as the red-flag gun law proposal that would allow temporary seizure of firearms from individuals deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

Join a conversation with Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth on Sunday, Jan. 12, as he previews the upcoming legislative session at 11 a.m. at Collected Works Bookstore, 202 Galisteo St. The event is free. For more information, call 505-984-4226 or go to journeysantafe.com.

WAR AND PEACE: Get off Twitter and get some real expertise about the implications of a possible war with Iran.

Middle East experts from the University of New Mexico’s Global & National Security Policy Institute – Emile Nakhleh, Todd Greentree and Ambassador Vicki Huddleston – weigh in on the pressing challenges to the global order and U.S. foreign policy.

The discussion, sponsored by the Santa Fe Council on International Relations, will take place from 4:45 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Hotel Santa Fe, 1501 Paseo de Peralta. Tickets are $20 or $16 for SCIFR members. For more information, call 982-4931 or go to sfcir.org.

“THE DEVIL CAN CITE SCRIPTURE FOR HIS PURPOSE”: These and other memorable quotes will be on the lips of young Shakespeareans as the Upstart Crows of Santa Fe perform an uncut production of “The Merchant of Venice,” one of the Bard’s most challenging plays. The theater troupe of 10- to 18-year-olds dedicates itself to “Making Shakespeare Our Own.”

Performances are Jan. 17 to 19, Jan. 24 to 26 and Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at the Swan Theater, 1213 Parkway Drive. The show starts Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or online at brownpapertickets.com.

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