Keswick Film Club - Leviathan

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Sunday 11th January 5:00 PM

Leviathan (Leviafan)

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev Country: Russia
Cert: 15 Year: 2014 Length: 140 mins Language: Russian

Programme Notes

Cinema Handout (PDF 93KB)

Audience Reaction

Score: 78.01% Attendance: 148



  • More details on this film at the Internet Movie Database


The basic story here is David and Goliath, with small town Kolya trying to stop the gangster-corrupt-city-mayor Vadim from taking his land. But can David stop Goliath when he is backed by a mafia and his own allies attempt to use blackmail as a weapon?

Kolya owns a modest property on a prime piece of land by the Barents Sea and Vadim serves a compulsory purchase order on him, to develop it to make a fortune. Kolya calls on his friend Dimitri, now a Moscow lawyer, to help him fight in the courts, but nothing is going to stop the mayor...

One of the major contenders for the Palme D'Or at Cannes in 2014, the critics loved this film; 'Stunningly shot and superbly acted, especially by Madyanov (who plays Vadim), this is filmmaking on a grand scale' - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian.

'Brimming with emotion, unflinchingly tense, and often darkly, painfully funny, this is a film possessed of both classic sweep and sharp contemporary relevance' - Hannah McGill, The List.

'Leviathan' comes from master film director Andrey Zvyagintsev, who manages here to combine the grand - Kolya takes on the mob, the state and the church in his fight - with the comic - as things begin to unravel, the victims hit the vodka in a big way - all in a small, everyday story of corrupt politicians. Zvyagintsev claims the story is not aimed at Russia, but this we will leave for you to decide.

For those who saw his 'Elena', which we had in 2013, you will remember how he uses very precise composition and large landscapes to make his films beautiful at the same time as telling his story. All together, this put 'Leviathan' as 'one to watch' after Cannes; here is your chance.


open_quote A modern classic weaving together rich characters, witty satire, thriller elements and political bite. Among the finest films of 2014 close_quote Catherine Bray, Film4

open_quote Stunningly shot and superbly acted, especially by Madyanov, this is film-making on a grand scale. close_quote Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian



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