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900 Ratings


United Kingdom, United States, 2012
Avant-Garde, Documentary


In the waters where Melville’s Pequod gave chase to Moby Dick, Leviathan captures the collaborative clash of man, nature, and machine. Shot on a dozen small cameras — tossed and tethered, passed from fisherman to filmmaker — it is a cosmic portrait of mankind’s place at the edge of wilderness.

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Leviathan Directed by Verena Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Awards & Festivals

Locarno International Film Festival

2012 | Winner: FIPRESCI Prize (International Competition)

2012 | Special Mention: Don Quixote Award (International Competition)

Independent Spirit Awards

2013 | Nominee: Truer Than Fiction Award

What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Leviathan

    See this in a theater if you can. Innovative photo-doc using nifty little GoPro cameras that make it feel like you are seeing what the fishing boat sees, if a boat had a bunch of little eyes all over it. And there's almost no talking, I like that.

  • Brotherdeacon's rating of the film Leviathan

    Pipilotti Rist on that brown acid everyone warns you about. I think I also noticed quick upside down cuts of Varg Vikernes in green weather gear pulling the gills and entrails from Bilbo Baggins, but I could be mistaken.

  • Karthik's rating of the film Leviathan

    A radical film of sensation (rather than the traditional one of affect), that reveals how sensations think, how the bodily manifestations of images and sounds, as we watch the film, are "already always" cognitive. Equal to anything by Grandrieux, this mix of avant garde film, documentary and agit-prop is in equal parts beautiful and horrifying.

  • Endless Eye's rating of the film Leviathan

    An amazing reminder that incredibly compelling cinema can be made with nothing but a great idea, patience and a few GoPro cameras. Immediately we plunge into the visceral sights and sounds of an East Coast fishing vessel. This film will reward anyone willing to stick out the almost entirely silent 80+ minutes. The relationship between Man & Sea feels barbaric, apocalyptic, and nightmarish. You won't soon forget it.

  • Harry Rossi's rating of the film Leviathan

    Jesus christ. What a strange, mysterious raw and absolutely haunting and fantastic film. This is definitive proof that documentaries can actually employ unique and fascinating methods in their visual style and the result can be breathtaking. Truly this could be the best shot documentary I've ever seen (aside from Baraka). Every image and sound struck some primordial cord in my brain. Fascinating and essential.

  • OFF_FRAME's rating of the film Leviathan

    A film like no other. Shot in extreme close-up and unbiased POV on a fishing trawler in the inky-black of night on a freezing ocean. It's a primal, harrowing experience full of blood and guts with pummelling dolby sound trapping the viewer and providing ample opportunity to ponder the ruthlessness of the commercial food industry and the harsh living conditions of those who work it. 4 stars

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Leviathan

    In which the uneasy coexistence of man and nature is rendered in a stream of imagery the likes of which you've never seen before. It shows a world that both has a rigorous cycle and is chaotic as hell, and it can fill you with a very primal kind of fear. Sometimes, a quote from the Old Testament is all the context you need. 4 out of 5 stars.

  • Scott Barley's rating of the film Leviathan

    At times, this is a visually remarkable piece, but sadly, said times are somewhat seldom stumbled upon between apparent aimlessness. Also, rather disappointingly, the single truly virtuosic sequence in the whole film was what came to be the film's trailer - a surprising and disenchanting move, à la Americana advertising garbage.

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