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 desert landscapes of the oasis city, QUEEN OF DIAMONDS revolves around the disaffected existence of of Firdaus (the filmmaker’s sister and frequent collaborator Tinka Menkes), a blackjack dealer whose world unfolds as a fragmented but hypnotic interplay between repetition and repressed anger. Shot with a beautiful compositional rigor that echoes the work of Chantal Akerman, this lost underground masterwork can be appreciated anew thanks to a glimmering restoration by the The Film Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.