LeviathanDirector: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Russia | Russian
Subtitles: Arabic, English
Leviathan is a modern take on the Biblical story of Job set in contemporary Russia. The put-upon hero, the hotheaded Kolia, lives in a small town near the Barents Sea. He operates an auto repair shop that stands next to the beautiful house where he lives with his second wife Lilya and his son from a previous marriage. The corrupt and all-powerful mayor of the neighboring town covets his business, his house and his land. First he offers to buy off Kolia, but Kolia refuses. As the mayor starts to become more aggressive, Kolia asks his best friend Dmitri, a lawyer from Moscow, to help him. Eventually, Kolia’s determination to resist the mayor leads to tragedy.
Naturally, some will read the film as a parable of the Putin era. Zvyagintsev notes, “The arduous alliance between man and the state has been a theme of life in Russia for quite a long time. Whatever society each of us lives in, we will all be faced one day with the following alternative: Either live as a slave or live as a free man. And if we naively think that there must be a kind of state power that can free us from that choice, we are seriously mistaken. In the life of every man, there comes a time when one must stand up for his sense of justice.'