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Beyond Eastern Noir

Reimagining Russia and Eastern Europe in Nordic Cinemas

Anna Estera Mrozewicz

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The first comprehensive conceptualisation of Russia and neighbouring Eastern Europe in post-1989 Nordic film

Addressing representations of Russia and neighbouring Eastern Europe in post-1989 Nordic cinemas, this ground-breaking book investigates their hitherto overlooked transnational dimension. Departing from the dark stereotypes that characterise much of ‘Eastern noir’, the book presents Russia and Eastern Europe as imagined spaces depicted with a surprisingly rich, but previously neglected cinematic diversity. Cross-disciplinary in its approach, and utilising in-depth case studies of feature films, documentaries and television dramas, such as Lilya 4-ever, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence and Occupied, the book presents a variety of perspectives on Russia and Eastern Europe found in the Nordic audiovisual imagination and considers how increasingly transnational affinities have led to a reimagining of Norden’s eastern neighbours in contemporary Nordic films.

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Introduction: The Iron Curtain effect: Nordic Eastern noir
Chapter 1: Borders: Russia and Eastern Europe as a crime scene
Chapter 2: Boundaries: Infiltrated identities
Chapter 3: The Baltic boundary
Chapter 4: Guilt and shame in (trans)national spaces
Chapter 5: Embodying the fear of Russia: The militarised body
Chapter 6: Polish spectres in our house: Revisiting the Nordic metaphor of the home
Afterword: Beyond Eastern noir: Toward a new (cinematic) space

About the Author

Anna Estera Mrozewicz is a scholar in Scandinavian Studies and Assistant Professor at the Department of Film, Media and Audiovisual Arts, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań. Previously, she pursued post-doctoral studies at the Department of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics, University of Copenhagen (2010–12). She has published extensively on Danish and Nordic literature and cinema, including Nordic/Eastern European transnational identities and films of Carl Th. Dreyer.


Beyond Eastern Noir offers a razor sharp and utterly compelling account of how Russia and Eastern Europe are imagined in Nordic cinemas. Especially intriguing, and, indeed, convincing, is the claim that the relevant imaginings have consequences within the Nordic region itself. Mrozewicz makes a very fine contribution to Nordic cinema studies, genre studies, and the still emerging field of transnational cinema studies. This is a rich and highly readable work

- Professor Mette Hjort, University of Copenhagen

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