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Beyond Eastern NoirReimaging Russia and Eastern Europe in Nordic Cinemas$
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Anna Estera Mrozewicz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474418102

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474418102.001.0001

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The Baltic Boundary

The Baltic Boundary

(p.93) Chapter 3 The Baltic Boundary
Beyond Eastern Noir

Anna Estera Mrozewicz

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on the films whose plots are set in the period following the break-up of the Soviet Union and in which the Baltic Sea undergoes symbolic transformation from a metaphor of liminal space into a space which links the Nordic peripheries of Europe with neighbours on the opposite shores. Rather than being positioned as small nations facing a large and dangerous neighbour, the small Nordic countries now find themselves among equally small neighbours that have (re)emerged in the northern consciousness after the disintegration of the Eastern Bloc. In these pictures (such as Aki Kaurismäki’s Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatjana), Baltic is an expanse of ambivalence, reflecting both fear of and fascination with the newly opened borders and increasing globalisation. Plots structured on the cognitive binary of centre/periphery are examined as baselines for narratives showing various forms of distant neighbourhood. Here, the Nordic subjects are often ousted from the centre position they previously adopted. Filmic devices serve to compress the space in order to accentuate contiguity rather than distance between the Nordic and the Eastern European coasts of the Baltic.

Keywords:   Baltic Sea, centre/periphery, small nation, liminal space, globalisation, neighbour, distant neighbourhood, Aki Kaurismäki, Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc

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