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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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Embodying the Fear of Russia: The Militarised Body

Embodying the Fear of Russia: The Militarised Body

(p.143) Chapter 5 Embodying the Fear of Russia: The Militarised Body
Beyond Eastern Noir

Anna Estera Mrozewicz

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 5 embarks on the analysis of one of the most widespread (stereotypical) tropes associated with Russia, in which the ‘Russia as a crime scene’ conception plays a potent part: that of the Russian soldier. The analyses are concerned with pictures which – not seeking to deny the militarisation of contemporary Russian society – look for historical foundations of the stereotype and examine the discursive and political mechanisms underlying the construction of militarised Russian bodies, both in terms of representation (through references to Nordic, notably Finnish, war films, as well as Soviet cinematic propaganda), and in the socio-cultural realities of contemporary Russia. Rysskräck (Swedish word for fear of Russia) is thus often deconstructed as a Nordic projection in which the Russian soldier is an entity contrasted with the peacefully-minded, unarmed, and innocent Nordic body. The concept of the disciplined (militarised) body enables one to diagnose representations of Russia as a society/nation of grand narratives, but the chapter also takes a look at films employing such strategies as humour, irony, sarcasm or deliberately de-politicised stance, thanks to which grand narratives can be circumvented.

Keywords:   Russia, Russian soldier, Finnish war films, militarisation, disciplined body, Nordic body, rysskräck, grand narratives, stereotype

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