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27 November 2007


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have you seen eastern promise? set in london but very much about the london mafia. but last night, enidd saw the best film of the year so far - the life of others (das leben der anderen). set in eastern germany, and wonderful.


not london mafia, russian mafia.


Yes, the Lives of Others is wonderful.

I am really interested in stories about how what we would call "corruption" permeates every level of society and informs how people make the most basic decisions about their lives. It's not just about "how I bought an aluminum factory for pennies on the dollar in 1991" (which I think is still a more interesting story than how Denzel Washington took control of the drug trade by acquiring better quality heroin and selling it at lower prices, then legitimized himself in political and social circles). Maybe I need to do this, but since I can't really even explain what I mean, i may not be the best person.


Enidd is right. You should see Eastern Promises.


I guess the potential rewards for Russian Oligarch film makers who really know their stuff includes some more polonium. Isn't somebody making a film about Litvinenko?

Does selling better quality heroine at lower prices suddenly make you a good guy? Or did I miss something about global capitalism? Did exploitation somehow get lost?


The whole buying cheap heroin thing really bothered me, and not because I have a problem with cheap heroin. It was boring: even though he broke the law, he used established market structures (supply/demand) to build an empire, then legitimized his power. Same old story. Too lawful.

I want a movie about what it takes to become a powerful political or economic figure in a place where there is no such thing as rule of law and a tightly controlled economy. How did Kamalddin Heydarov build his empire as head of Customs in Azerbaijan or Ali Insanov as Minstry of Health? I'm not sure western filmmakers have enough imagination.


>>So why isn't anyone making gangster movies about Russia<

Because they might get whacked (or whatever the Russian equivalent is) by Russian gangsters?

There's still much to be said on Italian gangsters (but probably not interestingly by Americans). Have you read 'Gomorrah', about the Naples camorra?

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