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Eastern Promises (2007)

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A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writer:

Steven Knight (screenplay) (as Steve Knight)
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Popularity
1,657 ( 955)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 70 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Josef Altin ... Ekrem
Mina E. Mina Mina E. Mina ... Azim
Aleksandar Mikic Aleksandar Mikic ... Soyka (as Aleksander Mikic)
Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse ... Tatiana (as Sarah Jeanne Labrosse)
Lalita Ahmed ... Customer
Badi Uzzaman Badi Uzzaman ... Chemist
Naomi Watts ... Anna
Doña Croll Doña Croll ... Nurse (as Dona Croll)
Raza Jaffrey ... Doctor Aziz
Sinéad Cusack ... Helen (as Sinead Cusack)
Jerzy Skolimowski ... Stepan
Tatiana Maslany ... Tatiana (voice)
Viggo Mortensen ... Nikolai
Vincent Cassel ... Kirill
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Semyon
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Storyline

In London, the Russian pregnant teenager Tatiana arrives bleeding in a hospital, and the doctors save her baby only. The Russian descendant midwife Anna Khitrova finds Tatiana's diary written in Russian language in her belongings and decided to find her family to deliver the baby, she brings the diary home and ask her uncle Stepan to translate the document. Stepan refuses, but Anna finds a card of a restaurant owned by the Russian Semyon inside the diary and she visits the old man trying to find a lead to contact Tatiana's family. When she mentions the existence of the diary, Semyon immediately offers to translate the document. However, Stepan translates part of the diary and Anna discovers that Semyon and his sick son Kirill had raped Tatiana when she was fourteen years old and forced her to work as prostitute in a brothel of their own. Further, Semyon is the dangerous boss of the Russian mafia "Vory v Zakone", jeopardizing the safety of Anna and her family. Meanwhile, Semyon's ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every sin leaves a mark.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal and bloody violence, some graphic sexuality, language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | Canada | USA

Language:

English | Russian | Turkish | Ukrainian | Urdu

Release Date:

21 September 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Promesas del este See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$547,092, 16 September 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,114,882, 26 October 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Naomi Watts discovered she was pregnant with her son Alexander two weeks into shooting this movie. She initially tried to hide it, but costume designer Denise Cronenberg found out about it. See more »

Goofs

When Anna is leaving Trans-Siberian for the second time, Semyon kisses her goodbye once on each cheek. Anyone who has ever been to a Russian house for a visit knows that Russians kiss three times back, once on each cheek, returning back to the first cheek for the last kiss. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Azim: He says "Christmas." So I say to him,
[in Turkish]
Azim: "Should we go shopping?"
[English]
Azim: The kid's 16. He says, "But uncle, it's Christmas."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Parasite Memories: The Making of 'Shivers' (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Step Da Step Krugom
Traditional
Performed by Vincent Cassel
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cronenberg finally settled in his new direction
2 January 2008 | by SuperunknovvnSee all my reviews

Ever since Cronenberg started making "straight" movies without (too many) splatter elements, something in his oeuvre had been lacking. "Spider" was beautifully photographed but a complete and utter bore. The much praised "A History Of Violence" had a great cast and a solid premise, but turned out to be just as boring and on top of that far-fetched and superficial. "Eastern Promises" finds Cronenberg finally coming to terms with his new "realistic" approach to movie making.

It's a little wonder that there haven't been too many serious movies about the Russian Mafia, yet, so having a movie that takes place in these circles is fascinating all by itself. Cronenberg sets the story up slowly, but nicely. He never falls into the trap of slowing things down too much as he did with his previous two movies. Cronenberg also avoids getting too close to the style of the genre's Big Kahuna, Martin Scorsese. This is a completely original effort, which sets it apart from 2007's snorefest "American Gangster", that didn't contribute anything new to the gangster genre at all.

The cast is, of course, very helpful. Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassell look threatening, cold-blooded and emotional all at the same time. You really forget the actors and start looking at them as the characters they embody. Armin Mueller-Stahl who plays the gangster boss wasn't quite as convincing. During the movie we hear all those cruel and crazy things he's done, but when we see him on screen we can't really imagine that he's capable of all that. The weakest link in the cast, however, is Naomi Watts, who plays the same way she always does and comes across as pretty one-dimensional. She has deservedly gotten a lot of praise for "Mullholland Dr." but failed to present a comparably great performance ever since. She's just good enough not to ruin the intensity of this movie.

"Eastern Promises" is aesthetic, explicit and thrilling. There are some scenes you won't forget for weeks to come (the sauna fight, the opening sequence). In short, what we have here is a modern classic. One of last year's finest and possibly the best movie David Cronenberg has made so far.


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