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8.1
/10
3,171 Ratings

Leviathan

Левиафан

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev
Russia, 2014
Drama, Crime

Synopsis

In a small coastal Russian town, Kolya decides to fight against the corrupt local officials who impose a compulsory purchase order on his land. He defiantly refuses to give up his home, and recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man’s arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.

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Leviathan Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2014 | Winner: Best Screenplay

Academy Awards

2015 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Independent Spirit Awards

2015 | Nominee: Best International Film

We encounter people and civilization, and are forced to reckon with how the former are barely better than beasts, and the latter is a lie. But it’s less a condemnation than a resignation, as illustrated by that pendulum swing back to sea. The degree to which such resignation reflects the film’s point of view, and not just of its beleaguered characters, is an unsettled ambiguity at the heart of Andrei Zvyagintsev’s extraordinarily accomplished movie.
December 31, 2014
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The film’s ambitions are so grand and multi-dimensional, and mostly accomplished, that Zvyagintsev’s audacity can only be applauded. His is a career that now must be counted one of the most significant in contemporary cinema.
December 25, 2014
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Zvyagintsev is an aesthete and a Big Thinker, sure, but he’s also a great storyteller, and I found myself caring a great deal about what happened to the characters in Leviathan — what happened with Dmitri’s blackmail plot against Vadim and Kolya’s attempts to keep his property. It’s not that the film doesn’t answer these questions — it does — but as the spiritual subtext took over, I couldn’t help but feel that something essential had been lost.
December 24, 2014
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