“One of the most provocative and challenging artists in film today. Taxing, shimmering, hypnotic, Queen of Diamonds demands being seen more than once to fully absorb its beauty and meaning. One of the year’s ten best films.”
— Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
Queen of Diamonds
Queen of Diamonds follows the alienated life of Firdaus (Tinka Menkes), a Blackjack dealer in a Las Vegas landscape juxtaposed between glittering casino lights and the deteriorating desert oasis. Negotiating a missing husband and neighboring domestic violence, Firdaus’ world unfolds as a fragmented but hypnotic interplay between repetition and oppressed anger. Shot with a beautiful compositional rigor echoing Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, Queen of Diamonds is a remarkable and demanding masterpiece of American independent filmmaking. Heralded as one of the most challenging and subversive filmmakers working today, the re-release of Queen of Diamonds marks the start of a new critical recognition for Nina Menkes’ groundbreaking body of feminist work.
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“Queen of Diamonds is my painting of the U.S.: an over-enlarged, profit motivated core surrounded by mute and arid alienation. The protagonist, Firdaus, is both deeply estranged and psychically powerful. Her loner position is the backside of centuries of Western Heroes: she stands in the center as watcher and victim of a system which is starting to crack.” – Nina Menkes