Queen of Diamonds
One of the most subversive and originally independent films of the 1990s, Nina Menkes’ critically acclaimed underground classic re-emerges in an essential new restoration.
Dir-Prod-Scr Nina Menkes
With Tinka Menkes, Emmellda Beech, Kathryn Francomacaro
Set in a hallucinatory Las Vegas landscape and breaking new ground in cinematic language, Queen of Diamonds tells the story of disaffected Firdaus (played by the director’s sister Tinka Menkes), a struggling Blackjack dealer at the Par-a-Dice casino, who is faced with a missing husband and neighbouring domestic violence. Awash in lush, hypnotic images, the action takes place between glittering casino lights and a deteriorating desert oasis. Loner Firdaus’ world unfolds as she drifts through a series of mundane, surreal and menacing encounters, with death and violence ever-present. Described by Menkes as ‘my very personal portrait of the US: an over-enlarged, profit-motivated core surrounded by mute and arid alienation’, the film is a remarkable and provocative masterpiece of American independent filmmaking, ripe for critical evaluation.
Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation. An Arbelos Films Release.