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Queen of Diamonds (1991);
The Great Sadness of Zohara (Israel/Morocco, 1983)

The Great Sadness of Zohara (1983)
February 19, 2012 - 7:00 pm
Nina Menkes.

Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

Queen of Diamonds (1991)

Directed by Nina Menkes

Menkes’ study of disaffected blackjack dealer “Firdaus” (Tinka Menkes) perfectly conveys the explosive claustrophobia of Las Vegas, where arid daytime landscapes contrast with its deceptively arid (if riotously mediated) interiors, emblematizing a mindscape in which real-world incursions such as the death of a friend are but momentary interruptions of a relentless daily grind. Queen of Diamonds stands as one of Menkes’ most visually and psychologically arresting works.

Producer/Cinematographer: Nina Menkes. Editor: Tinka Menkes, N. Menkes. Cast: T. Menkes, Irene Bowers, Jeff Douglas, Emmellda J. Beech, Kathryn Francomacaro.

35mm, color, 77 min.

New print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

The Great Sadness of Zohara (Israel/Morocco, 1983)

Directed by Nina Menkes

Shot in Israel and North Africa, the film follows a Jewish woman who leaves Jerusalem to sojourn in Arab lands. Changes to her body, and poetic suggestions of the incompatibility of two worlds, speak of the profundity of her journey, and her return.

Cast: Tinka Menkes.

16mm, color, 40 min.