"Brilliant ... Beautiful, utterly demanding, and enlightening ...
a rigorous work of art on the highest level."
-- Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times|
"Mesmerising. At a time when experimental filmmaking is in retreat, the
craft and bold unconventionality of THE BLOODY CHILD are challenging in the most
Pic weaves a spell that's hard to shake for days after and offers an object
lesson in the cinematic possibilities standard narrative misses." --
Godfrey Cheshire, Variety
"At once chilling and clarifying, the Menkes sisters have allowed us to
look into an abyss.
A must see!" -- Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader
"A fascinating game with time and point of view, resulting in a powerful
A masterful exercise in the deconstruction of events that cinematically leads
to unforgettable conclusions." -- David Hunter, The Hollywood Reporter
A Haunting Meditation
Internationally hailed as one of today's most innovative and audacious
filmmakers, Nina Menkes' new film is a hallucinatory meditation on violence told
through the story of a U.S. marine, just back from the Gulf War, caught digging
a grave for his murdered wife in the Mojave Desert.
on 'Inner' Violence
Explodes Narrative Conventions
THE BLOODY CHILD premiered at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival to critical
acclaim, and was recently named one of the year's five best films by Kevin
Thomas of The Los Angeles Times. Menkes describes the film as "a spell, a
witches' brew. It's an exploration of violence and a spell to try and change
Intercutting stark scenes of the marine's arrest with hallucinatory images from
North Africa and a layered soundtrack which includes text from Shakespeare's
Macbeth, THE BLOODY CHILD looks at American violence from a new, non-traditional
perspective. The filmmaker's sister, Tinka Menkes, stars as an emotionally
wounded marine Captain in charge of the arrest, who absorbs the impact of the
dead woman's spirit. The murderer, the arresting officer, her military
associates, and the victim -- whose voice, fractured but incessant, patrols the
scene -- are trapped within a violent configuration which seems to hold no
promise of redemption or release.
Based on a real incident, Menkes found the true story of the accused marine to
be "an intense intersection of violences. I used it as an infrastructure to
get into very highly personalized feelings about inner violence." THE
BLOODY CHILD was shot on location in Africa and in Twenty-nine Palms,
California, home of the nation's largest marine base. All the film's male cast
members were actual enlisted marines at the time of the shoot, and all were
Desert Storm veterans. The marines not only acted in the film but also helped
write scenes and one serving as assistant director.