Magdalena Viraga (1986) by Nina Menkes

Sunday, February 14, 1988, 8:00 pm

Magdalena Viraga by Nina Menkes

Filmmaker Nina Menkes in person


800 Chestnut Street

San Francisco, CA, 94133

Set in decaying boudoirs and bloody dance halls within the brutal confines of an oppressive regime and the back reaches of the protagonist’s mind, Magdalena Viraga is a tale of murder and crucifixion, alienation and friendship from the past and present. It leaves us empty of hope but full of desire. Ida, a prostitute in an unidentifiable modern city, is arrested and imprisoned for murder. The grim fact of incarceration triggers her inner development, forcing her through the rigid barriers of her own alienation. The progression culminates in a dramatic sequence in which Ida’s catharsis explodes onto the outer reality. Magdalena Viraga is Menkes first feature-length film; her earlier The Extreme Sadness of Zohara was shown at the Cinematheque in February 1986.