Queen of Diamonds

Queen of Diamonds

Movie: Queen of Diamonds
Director: Nina Menkes
Produced by: Menkesfilm, Sundance Institute
Released By:
MPAA Rating:

Nina Menkes’ second feature is composed of incidents in the life of a depressed Las Vegas blackjack dealer played by the director’s sister and regular collaborator, Tinka Menkes. The first half of the film reveals that she lives in a cheap, ramshackle apartment building, along with a bickering couple and an ailing old man for whom she is caring. There is a reference to a husband who has gone missing, and scenes in which she wanders alone through the city. The heart of the film is a 14-minute sequence of the dealer at work. Its noise, chaos, and gaudy lights wrench the viewer out of the contemplative mood of the scenes that precede it while drilling home the deadening monotony of her job. As if propelled by this sequence’s power, the film’s narrative strands then begin to move toward completion.

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