What is the Meaning of Nagazi? Is it a Real Drug Cartel?

Image Credit: Jasin Boland/Netflix

Netflix’s action thriller film ‘Extraction 2’ revolves around Tyler Rake, a former Australian SAS operator turned black ops mercenary who sets out to rescue Ketevan, the sister of his ex-wife Mia, and her family from a Georgian prison. Ketevan is held captive by her husband Davit Radiani, who is an integral part of the Nagazi, a billion-dollar heroin and weapons cartel based in Georgia. The film progresses through Tyler’s efforts to protect Ketevan and her family when Davit’s brother Zurab Radiani tries to hunt him and Ketevan down. Since the principal antagonist Zurab is the leader of the cartel, the viewers must be intrigued to know more about the same. If that’s the case, you are at the right place! SPOILERS AHEAD.

What is the Meaning of Nagazi?

The word “Nagazi” means shepherd. Zurab and Davit formed the drug cartel after running away from Georgia during the Civil War, only to end up in Armenia. They were cared for by their uncle Avtandil, who then started to run their drug operations. Zurab and Davit started their operations seemingly with marijuana, selling the same on the streets of the country. The word eventually became their identity, possibly due to their connection among the lower strata of society. Since then, they grew enormously, expanding their operations to several activities such as murder for hire and weapons trade.

Even after becoming the leader of a billion-dollar drug and weapons cartel, Zurab doesn’t forget his roots. When he is introduced in the film, he is seen among goats, feeding them, as a herdsman. This connection helps the Nagazis gain the loyalty of their allies. That’s the reason why Zurab’s men put their lives on the line for exacting their leader’s vengeance on Tyler for killing Davit. Rather than living in an ivory tower, Zurab lives and eats among his men, which motivates the latter group to throw away their lives for him.

Is Nagazi a Real Drug Cartel?

No, Nagazi is not a real drug cartel. Nagazi is a fictional drug cartel conceived by Joe Russo, the screenwriter of the film. Russo must have conceived the cartel to provide a backstory for Zurab to establish him as a highly potent threat. Through the history of the cartel, Russo and director Sam Hargrave succeeds in presenting the principal antagonist of the film as a resilient and determined individual, who stands a chance of defeating Tyler and his forces. Such a characterization succeeds in making the central conflict of the film, the battle between Zurab and Tyler, immensely tense.

Image Credit: Jasin Boland/Netflix

Through the cartel’s history, Russo also depicts the relationship between Zurab and Davit. The brothers built an empire together because they trusted and valued each other immensely. Whatever they have gained by operating the cartel is a testament to their incredible association and relationship. Through the depiction of their relationship, Russo and Sam make it clear why Zurab chooses to put his life on the line to exact vengeance on Taylor for killing his brother. The bond Zurab and Davit shared while growing their operations justifies Zurab’s motivations to kill the mercenary.

In addition, the operations of the cartel also add an element of fear to the characterization of Zurab. By running the same, the crime lord succeeds in running the country through the ministers who got appointed with his assistance. The display of such an influence makes Zurab a scary antagonist.

Read More: Does Yaz Die in Extraction 2? Did Adam Bessa Leave the Film Series?