Since the end of the USSR in 1991, London has increasingly played host to Russians wishing to expand their business portfolio through property deals in England’s capital. And with that came the Russian Mafia. Eastern Promises tells the story of the Russian mob in London with extraordinary detail. Legendary Canadian director David Cronenberg pays a great deal of attention to Russian Mafia customs, especially the tattoos mob members acquire after committing a certain act. He also explores the intricacies of sex trafficking, power and for the first time offers a realistic depiction of Russian gangsters in an English language film.
Boasting a formidable cast that includes Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts and Vincent Cassel, Eastern Promises uses plenty of authentic London locations such as Broadway Market, St. John Street and Brompton Cemetery. The famous Turkish Baths are also portrayed in the film during the classic fight scene that involved a naked Viggo Mortensen and linoleum knives. Eastern Promises is far away from being an ordinary gangster thriller; it is a deeply moving trip through the darkest depths of London and a section of society not much acknowledged.