Badiou, Alain. The relationship between the two groups belonging to the vory v zakone is therefore defined by their collective interactions, rather than individual ones, with the battle for power prevailing beyond any common causes that may exist otherwise. Jessica Hughes Although you may never have seen Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg, 2007) in its entirety, chances are you have seen the film’s bathhouse scene. Violence and the Sacred. This connection is essential for understanding how group violence occurs in different classes and social enclaves. The ‘we’ provided by the collective support of joining together is particularly attractive to this circle because most members have already given up their individuality in their struggle to fit in, even as outsiders. Ballsy. These stars signify his acceptance into the family, a decision based on his perceived devotion to the group as well as his criminal past-as illustrated by the array of Siberian prison tattoos already adorning his body. In this sense, the damage done to the body is ultimately the cost of belonging to a collective and Nikolai is presented as the heroic figure. Just as the relationship between the young Comrade and the Communist Party suggests in The Decision, the obligation for a permanent bond between members of the vory v zakone in Eastern Promises is so strong that if one were to expose himself as an outsider, it would be necessary to eliminate that person altogether. By temporarily dislocating the audience’s sense of family values and trust, Cronenberg draws attention to the way groups of people join together to carry out acts of violence in service of upholding the collective. However, the transition between the bathhouse scene and the subsequent revelation shows how Nikolai has studied the roles he must play in order to be a member of Scotland Yard and the vory v zakone, by allowing his ‘I’ to become a part of the inseparate ‘we’. Seconds later, the first attack is made, and, throughout the rest of the scene, the camera remains tightly focused on Nikolai’s naked body, with close attention to the slashes made in his skin, followed by his quick and powerful reactions. 61-91. As Nikolai sits alone, waiting for Azim to return, two men in suits approach him. Add the first question. Eastern Promises (2007): B. The details of this scene draw attention to the way Eastern Promises portrays the relationship between appearance, truth, and the figure of the Real. Thus he is forced to sacrifice not only his membership in the group, but also his own life. “Eastern Promises.” Rogerebert.com. Nikolai arrives, undresses, and waits in the sauna room as expected. “VIGGO MORTENSEN NUDE DURING FIGHT SCENE.” YouTube. Semyon heads the syndicate and is the proprietor of a plush Trans-Siberian restaurant. Paradoxically, the ensuing gashes and bruises inflicted on Nikolai’s body satisfy a Badiouian passion for the Real, which convinces all parties, and the audience as well, of a loyalty paid for in blood. Ebert, Roger. In Eastern Promises, Nikolai is tricked into taking Kirill's place in a meeting at the local sauna with the Chechens following Kirill's unsanctioned murder of the Chechen mob boss's mentally handicapped nephew. In this case, the Idea is less about Communism than the radical commitment of the collective, whose passion for the Real will tolerate terrible and spectacular acts of cruelty; the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Which explains my apprehension about visiting a Russian public bathhouse, or banya, during a recent trip to Moscow in March. Spoilers possible! While this reinforces his assumed identity, so he can maintain his sense of ‘I’ while still being a part of the group, it is not clear at this point in the film how this is advantageous to him. Although Anna was born in London, she attempts to relate to her Russian heritage by getting involved in the mystery of Tatiana and her baby. As a result, Nikolai is subjected to twice the violence because he is simultaneously an insider and an outsider. Although having the appropriate tattoos confirms Nikolai’s acceptance within the vory v zakone, it is also what betrays him to the attackers. Viggo Mortensen goes full frontal in a knife fight scene in new David Cronenberg Russian Mob flick Eastern Promises.At the premiere, Cronenberg told … Viggo Mortensen went beyond the call of duty by filming a fight scene in nothing but his birthday suit. Get a sneak peek of the new version of this page. Rather than devoting himself entirely to one group, Nikolai pledges his allegiance to both the vory v zakone and Scotland Yard by offering portions of his individuality to each. 14 Sept. 2007 9 Aug. 2009. Viggo ‘Promises’ A Naked Bathhouse Fight. Who’s to proclaim the proper response to the centerpiece of Eastern Promises, a fight sequence in the steam room of a Russian bathhouse, in which a primally naked Mortensen — Cronenberg’s Vitruvian Man, virile and exposed — fends off, climbs atop, and kills two knife-wielding Chechen assassins? Accompanying all of this is a cacophony of disturbing sounds of bones crunching and flesh being hacked to pieces.
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