Cinematic Sorceress: The Films of Nina Menkes

The films of Nina Menkes are a kind of haunting – mysterious, disturbing and potent, they need to be felt rather than understood.

Across a four-decade career, Menkes has established herself as one of most original voices in American independent filmmaking. Often working in collaboration with her actor sister Tinka, Menkes takes recognisable noirish plots – a soldier murders his wife, a sex worker kills her pimp – and translates them into enigmatic riddles, driven by dream logic and populated by ghosts.

There are echoes of Tarkovsky and Akerman in her minimal dialogue, hypnotic long takes and dense sound design, but Menkes’ point of view, firmly rooted in contemporary USA and Israeli politics, is distinctly her own. Always provocative, the most consistent theme spanning all of Menkes’ work, from her early shorts to recent documentary Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, is an unflinching critique of the insidious male violence that underpins a patriarchal society.

- Invisible Women (Camilla Baier, Lauren Clarke and Rachel Pronger), season curators

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Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-PowerBrainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

Documentary2022107 minsDirector: Nina Menkes

You may never look at film the same way again after watching this illuminating journey, which deconstructs the male gaze in cinema.