Sailing ships, stars, angels and executioners The Mark of Cain chronicles the vanishing practice and language of Russian Criminal Tattoos. Captured in some of Russia's most notorious prisons, including the fabled White Swan, the film traces the animus of the flowers of this carnal art by way of the brutality of it's origins- the penitentiary and the criminal environment. Incisive interviews with prisoners, guards, and criminologists reveal the secret language of The Zone and The Code of Thieves of the vory v zakone. As early as the 1920's, Russian prisons and Gulag began to attract the attention of researchers. The prisoners of the Stalinist Gulag, or "Zone," as it is called, developed a complex social structure that incorporated highly symbolic tattooing as a mark of rank. The very existence of these inmates at prisons and forced labor camps was treated by the state as a deep secret, and their tattoo art was considered a forbidden topic. In the last decade, Russia's prison population has exploded; overcrowding has reached unimaginable proportions. Few other nations have had such a massive prison population. The most conservative estimates suggest that in the last decades, over thirty million of Russia's inmates have had tattoos even though the process is against the law inside prison. According to The Book of Genesis, God placed a mark on the world's first murderer before sending him into exile. The mark of Cain proclaimed its bearer as a criminal and social outcast; for centuries, prisoners and those who broke social codes were forcibly tattooed. In Russian prisons, tattooing emerged as a visual mode of communication linked with social division. The Mark of Cain tells the story of a fading art form and how that practice's death reflects transition in broader Russian society.
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Shane Gulliver and Mark Tate (Treacle) are two ordinary 18 year-olds serving with the British Army in Iraq. Amidst constant insurgent attacks the platoon struggles to maintain the uneasy peace and to subdue a barrage of hostilities.
When the popular company captain is killed on patrol by a roadside bomb, morale in the platoon hits rock bottom. Acting on orders they round up several suspects from house-to-house searches. That night feelings at the camp are running high and as the chain of command is weakened events spiral out of control. The Mark of Cain pulls you deep inside the Iraq conflict and shows you the true fear, horror and uncertainty of war.
Shane Gulliver and Mark Tate (Treacle) are two ordinary 18 year-olds serving with the British Army in Iraq.
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