Air Force One at Crystal Screen Monday, June 6

Picking the ethnicity and cause of a summer blockbuster movie’s bad guys is hard work. Islamic fundamentalists are topical, but can easily be mishandled via ugly stereotypes. German neo-Nazis are politically safe, but not much of a clear and present danger. The 1997 Harrison Ford vehicle Air Force One may have found the perfect answer: Russians! The hypernationalists who hijack the president’s plane pack the same zany-menacing punch as your standard Middle Eastern cinematic villains—minus, like, the celluloid racism. Plus, even though it came out during the happy heyday of the Yeltsin years, the flick’s evocation of revanchist Russkies proved prescient. Crystal City’s summer outdoor film series may have a lowbrow theme—it features movies with numbers in the title, like Ten Things I Hate About You and Ocean’s Eleven—but that doesn’t mean it lacks geopolitical significance.

The film shows after sunset at 1850 S. Bell St., Arlington. (703) 412-9430.

Correction: Due to a reporting error, last week's City Lights misidentified the year in which the film Air Force One was released. It came out in 1997, not 1996.

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