“Potent and luminous! A seductively powerful vision… Menkes is one of the most provocative artists in film today.”
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
THE DIRECTOR: NINA MENKES
Nina Menkes is one of the most daring, visionary directors in the world today -- though terribly under-produced. EOS World Fund aims to rectify this; we are proud that Nina’s provocative Minotaur Rex will be the first recipient participating in the EOS World Fund; Ms. Menkes represents the kind of filmmaking that combines artistic and cinematic innovation with a deep artistic soul and social conscience.
Nina's films have shown widely in major international film festivals including Sundance, Rotterdam, Locarno, the Viennale, the Berlinale, as well as at La Cinematheque Francaise, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her many honors include a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for her first feature film Magdalena Viraga, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an American Film Institute Independent Filmmaker Award. Her work has been listed on many periodicals “Top Ten Films of the Year” lists, including Film Comment and, repeatedly, The Los Angeles Times. The Bloody Child was named one of the best films of the past fifty years by the Viennale Int’l Film Festival, Austria.
Minotaur Rex by Nina Menkes
The mythological Minotaur inspires the creation of Nina's Minotaur Rex: a thriller-monster genre movie hybrid.
This half man/half beast, who lived in the center of a dark maze, exerted a destructive force on the surrounding world, ceaselessly killing and devouring innocent young men and women. In the original myth, it is a young woman's -- Ariadne’s -- love and her golden thread which leads Theseus safely out of the maze after he manages to slay the Minotaur.
Nina Menkes' version of the Minotaur myth is a contemporary tale that features a modern Palestinian man in the hero’s role of Theseus. The story is set now, in today's Old City of Jerusalem, using narrow streets of the biblical city as a living labyrinth still resonant with the blood of all creatures past and present.
Although the film’s political power lives in its characters' personal conflicts, the ancient Greek myth shifts the focus onto the deeper, archetypal meaning of the story: we each need to face and heal our wounds, grievances, and rage. Every being in every society needs to confront mankind's "Inner Minotaur" -- which is that force of violent darkness which blocks the flow of love and compassion in our lives and relationships.
No words can adequately describe Nina's vision. If it can be put in written, stylistically Minotaur Rex will combine dream-like, surreal hallucinations with a brutal, quasi-documentary shooting style to create a unique exploration of total crisis in modern-day Jerusalem.
All the following images are stills from films by NINA MENKES Copyright and courtesy of Menkesfilm.