Night Watch

59. Night Watch (2004) [Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images and language.]

summary from

A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.

directed by: Timur Bekmambetov

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
Kyle Smith
Kurt Loder
Nehring The Edge
Peter Suderman Christian reviews

A Trailer

Abortion/Life Content:

Konstantin Khabensky: Look, here’s what happened…

Rimma Markova: I know what happened, Anton. You loved her, married her, and then two days ago, she packs her bags and leaves you for another man. See? I know everything. The women in my family have the gift. Don’t worry, I’ll fix your little problem.

Konstantin: Look, I just don’t get it…

Rimma: What’s not to get? She’s pregnant, you know.

Konstantin: Pregnant.

Rimma: And the baby’s not yours. It’s no problem to get her back, but the baby will pull her away from you, to the real father. And destroying an innocent child, is a great sin.

Konstantin: Is that so?

Rimma: Oh, yes.

Konstantin: So you’re saying to get my wife back, we need to kill an unborn child.

Rimma: It’s easy. I’ll just clap my hands, like this, and it will die, she’ll miscarry. But you must take the sin upon yourself.

Konstantin: Well, I don’t know.

Rimma: Will you? Take it?

Konstantin: The sin?

Rimma: The sin.

Konstantin: Yeah, sure.

Rimma: Let’s shake?

Konstantin: What the hell.

Rimma: Don’t worry. It won’t hurt. We just… mix everything up.

Konstantin: Lemonade?

Rimma: Don’t worry. Drink this. Don’t worry, everything’s sterile with me.

Konstantin: Are you kidding? It’s…

Rimma: Are the ingredients important? Or the effect?

Konstantin: The effect.

Rimma: Then drink it. Go ahead.

a guy: What’s the matter?

Mariya Mironova: I can’t be with you.

Rimma: Good boy! Now we have to take care of the brat.

Konstantin: No.

[Mariya writhes around on the ground, screaming]

Konstantin: Stop. Stop. No!!! STOP!!!

Shape-shifters: Sit still, witch! Get her hands! Don’t let her clap! Get her hands! Help me, Mashenka! Hurry, stupid doll! Get away! Get away from me! Don’t let her clap…

Dmitriy Martynov: Did you really want to kill me?

Konstantin Khabenskiy: No…

Viktor Verzhbitsky: Yes, you did.

Konstantin: No. Don’t believe him, I didn’t want to kill you.

Viktor: Alice, read it.

Zhanna Friske: “Night Watch Arrest Report, dated August 19, 1992. Mr. Gorodetsky visited Ms. Schultz… residing at 10, Starozachatsky Alley. He paid a fee to Ms. Schultz for a service involving dark magic. Having been warned by her, he still agreed to bear responsibility for murdering the unborn child of his wife, Irina Petrova.”

Dmitriy: So you really did want to kill me.

Konstantin: Yes, but… then I found you, and I wanted…

Dmitriy: To kill me? You wanted to kill me?

Konstantin: Yegor! Please! Don’t go with them! They are Dark!

Dmitriy: You’re no better than the Dark. You’re worse. You lie. You only pretend to be good.

Viktor: I’ve been waiting centuries for this. Those fated to drown will drown. Those fated to fall from a roof will fall. This boy was always fated to be great. But it was you who made him choose the Dark. It’s done now, you can’t change it. Stay away from him. I will take care of him now.

Konstantin: You set all this up, didn’t you? […]

narration: And so it came to pass the Great Other came into the world and chose the side of evil. Legend says he will plunge the world into darkness. But so long as there are those among us who believe in Light… there will be hope.


from a commenter at Jill Stanek’s pro-Life site:

The Russian fantasy movie “Night Watch” begins with a magical abortion attempt when a young man on a whim visits a witch, who turns out to be a real witch. Both in the book and the movie, this attempt changes everything for the young man and his child, and he ends up verrrrrry sorry. The effects continue into the sequel, even.

from the blog “After Abortion”:

This July in Russia, the movie Nochnoi Dozor (Night Watch) came out. In Russia, it made more money than Return of the King or Spiderman 2 did there. The novel by Sergei Lukyanenko on which it is based (same title) won the Strannik award for best Russian speculative fiction novel in 1999. So naturally I wanted to see the movie, and I finally gave up and ordered a DVD. (Russian moviemakers sell DVDs early and often, even outside Russia, as they like to make money. Would that US movie studios were so forward-thinking….)

The movie and novel are set in Moscow, in a slightly alternate version of our world, where the battle between Light and Dark (good and evil magical people) is supervised by treaty, bureaucracy, and two separate police forces.

Anyway…here come the spoilers….

The movie’s prologue shows a younger version of the protagonist going to the apartment of an evil sorceress (koldun’ya) to win his wife back. The witch tells him that she’s carrying the other man’s baby and advises a magical abortion in conjunction with the love potion. He agrees, to horrifying effect. (The woman’s long distance suffering is shown.) As it turns out, the abortion is interrupted — but years later, when he has made atonement and is full of regret about what he tried to do, his son finds out about it and is not particularly happy. Which has equally horrifying consequences…or will, as Nochnoi Dozor is the first in a trilogy. (Day Watch and Twilight Watch are the other novels and are soon to be movies.)

Given Russia’s huge number of abortions for most of the last century, I think this is an interesting subplot. To say the least.

Now, Fox Searchlight bought the rights to make an American version, and hired the director and screenplay writers to make it (Screenplay was by the director and Mr. Lukyanenko), though they’ll also have an American screenplay writer or writers. I think it will be very interesting to see if the abortion subplot survives development.

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1 Response to Night Watch

  1. Pingback: Welcome | Abortion in Film

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