The Bloody Child

on October 26, 1996 by Lea Russo
   A self-proclaimed witch, filmmaker Nina Menkes certainly has the power of a sorceress. With "The Bloody Child," Menkes has crafted a disturbing portrait of violence, a film that rattles the core without resorting to typical Hollywood scare tactics. Told through a series of images in a nonlinear fashion, the film is based on the true story of a marine who murdered his wife. Found digging her grave in the desert by two on-duty marines, the murderer is captured.
   Menkes takes a documentary-like approach while shooting the marines, crime scene, and victim. The camera captures these scenes rom a distance, static and objective, with no regard for the characters' feelings or fate. Yet Menkes intercuts these harshly real moments with surreal, haunting images that create another level of tension. In the woods, a naked woman, with crusty white/gray skin, scrapes letters in her arm. She's the ghost of our collective unconscious, inflicting pain on ourselves and the world.    Starring Tinka Menkes, Russ Little. Directed by Nina Menkes. Written by Nina Menkes and Tinka Menkes. Produced by Nina Menkes. A Mirage release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 85 min.
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