The Great Sadness of Zohara

Nina Menkes, Israel, Morocco 1983, 38’
Queen of Diamonds Queen of Diamonds

Women’s road cinema set in the Middle East, about how to shed the yoke of being watched, controlled or punished by gaze. A young Jewish woman, Zohara, leaves Jerusalem for Arab North Africa. She demonstrates her independence with her hairstyle, attire and sexual openness during the journey.

Monika Talarczyk

Nina Menkes

Nina Menkes is an avant-garde American filmmaker who graduated with a degree in film from the University of California w Los Angeles. She has lectured at University of Southern California, California Institute of the Arts, Tel Aviv University and the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. Her oeuvre includes eight films that she wrote, directed, and produced and, for many years, her sister Tinka Menkes, was her leading actress, muse and closest associate. Menkes’s films have screened at festivals in Berlin, Sundance, Rotterdam, Locarno as well as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the New York Museum of Modern Art.


1983 Wielki smutek Zohary / The Great Sadness of Zohara (short)

1986 Magdalena Viraga

1991 Królowa diamentów / Queen of Diamonds

1996 Krwawe dziecię / The Bloody Child

2000 The Crazy Bloody Female Center

2005 Masakra / Massaker / Massacre (co-dir.)

2007 Miłość fantomowa / Phantom Love

2012 Rozpad / Hitparkut / Dissolution

2022 Brainwashed: seks, kamera, władza / Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Nina Menkes
screenplay Nina Menkes
cinematography Nina Menkes
editing Nina Menkes
cast Tinka Menkes
producer Nina Menkes
production Menkesfilm
sales Arbelos Films
language no dialogue
coloration colour
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