Ulrike Ottinger Retrospective:
Joan of Arc of Mongolia

Director: Ulrike Ottinger
West Germany/France / 1989 / 165 min
In German, French, and Russian with English subtitles

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A high-society anthropologist (Delphine Seyrig) is traveling the Trans-Siberian Railroad with a bevy of eccentric international passengers: a Teuton schoolteacher (Fassbinder star Irm Hermann), a starry-eyed young backpacker (Inés Sastre), a Broadway star (Gillian Scalici), a famed Yiddish tenor Mickey Katz (Peter Kern), and an all-female klezmer trio. They’re halted in the steppes by a detachment of Mongolian tribeswomen who take the female passengers captive in Ulrike Ottinger’s brawny lesbian epic, camp musical, and “sumptuously stylized yet ardently observational film that builds its wild contrasts into its plot.”—The New Yorker