In his two most recent films, Eastern Promises (2007) and A History of Violence (2005), the director David Cronenberg turns his attention more specifically than ever before to the conjuncture of violence and globalized geopolitics. The resulting illumination of how violence circulates in a global era where we are shown so much but see so little represents a crucial political turn for Cronenberg. Analyzing this turn invites consideration, through a particularly ambitious case, of how commercial narrative cinema might imagine globalized geopolitics after 9/11. These two films bring to light something too often invisible in today's world: the imbrication of America with Russia, of London with Indiana, of Iraq with Chechnya at the level of shared violence. Shared, that is, in the most intimate sense of the body, not some abstractly conceptual “global village.” When we fail to see and feel globalized geopolitics in this way, Cronenberg suggests, we risk the worst kinds of political and ethical blindness.
Adam Lowenstein; Promises of Violence: David Cronenberg on Globalized Geopolitics. boundary 2 1 May 2009; 36 (2): 199–208. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2009-011
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