Directed by Nina Menkes

Directed by Nina Menkes

5 Episodes

One of American independent cinema’s most sui generis voices, Nina Menkes doesn’t so much direct films as, in her own words, “conjure” them. Imbued with a trancelike power, her cinematic spells combine surrealist imagery that has been compared to David Lynch’s with the hypnotic formal rigor of Chantal Akerman to create a wholly original film language, through which she explores themes of alienation, violence, sexuality, and the search for a nonpatriarchal spirituality. Featuring the recently restored 1990s landmark QUEEN OF DIAMONDS—a glimmering hallucination set on the margins of Las Vegas—these selections from Menkes’s potent body of work reveal an uncompromising artist who gives radical form to the raw materials of her unconscious.

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Directed by Nina Menkes
  • Meet Nina Menkes

    Episode 1

    This interview with director Nina Menkes was recorded in 2021.

  • The Great Sadness of Zohara

    Episode 2

    Directed by Nina Menkes • 1983 • Israel, Morocco
    Starring Tinka Menkes

    A young Jewish woman (Tinka Menkes) leaves Jerusalem and embarks on a solitary, mystical journey through the Arab world in this meditation on spirituality and alienation shot on location in Israel and North Africa.

  • Queen of Diamonds

    Episode 3

    Directed by Nina Menkes • 1991 • United States
    Starring Tinka Menkes, Emmellda Beech

    Nina Menkes’s entrancing dream vision of alienation on the margins of Las Vegas is one of the most radical and provocative independent films of the 1990s. Set amid the glittering casino lights and deteriorating ...

  • Phantom Love

    Episode 4

    Directed by Nina Menkes • 2007 • United States
    Starring Marina Shoif, Juliette Marquis, Bobby Naderi

    Lensed in stunning black and white, this surreal psychodrama traces the awakening of Lulu (Marina Shoif), an alienated casino worker living in Los Angeles who must navigate complicated relationsh...

  • Dissolution

    Episode 5

    Directed by Nina Menkes • 2010 • Israel
    Starring Slava Bibergal, Didi Fire, Yohanan Herson

    Nina Menkes transposes Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” to Tel Aviv for this hallucinatory exploration of guilt and redemption. Shot in Yafo, the predominantly Arab area of the city, DISSOLUTION center...