The Bloody Child

  • 1996
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Experimental

An experimental meditation on the violence that poisons relationships between men and woman, this nonlinear collage of images is not for every moviegoer. Sibling filmmakers Nina and Tinka Menkes aren't interested in narrative, except as it's evoked through fragments of action: guys flirting with girls in a C&W bar; a young man sitting in the back of a car...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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An experimental meditation on the violence that poisons relationships between men and woman, this nonlinear collage of images is not for every moviegoer. Sibling filmmakers Nina and Tinka Menkes aren't interested in narrative, except as it's evoked through

fragments of action: guys flirting with girls in a C&W bar; a young man sitting in the back of a car on a desolate stretch of desert highway; an unidentified woman (Tinka Menkes, who assumes multiple guises throughout the film) against a variety of seductive North African landscapes, sometimes

naked, sometimes clothed in bright, saturated colors; a cluster of marines talking, ominous phrases like "blood all over," "anyone could see in there" and "he was over there digging" leaking onto the densely layered soundtrack. The story, such as it is, is painfully simple: A young marine, back

from the Gulf War, murders his wife and is caught trying to bury her body in the Mojave Desert. There's little dialogue, and much of the soundtrack is best described as aural collage, dominated by the childlike voice of the murdered wife (Sherry Sibley), singing, laughing and reciting snippets of

familiar verse: "Mirror, mirror on the wall," the voice chants. "The Lord is my shepherd... double, double, toil and trouble." A demanding film -- no sitting back and letting this one wash over you -- that doesn't entirely repay the attention it demands, it's nevertheless hypnotic and occasionally

haunting.

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An experimental meditation on the violence that poisons relationships between men and woman, this nonlinear collage of images is not for every moviegoer. Sibling filmmakers Nina and Tinka Menkes aren't interested in narrative, except as it's evoked through… (more)

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