Archive of films Leviathan / Leviafan

2014, 141 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2014

The film is set on the Kola Peninsula, where car mechanic Kolya and his family live in a remote part of a neglected seaport. The house and the land it stands on are coveted by the mayor of the nearby town. Kolya’s determination to defend his property with the help of a lawyer from Moscow, a childhood friend, has tragic consequences. The story reflects the reality that potentates in contemporary Russia are just as cynical and ruthless as they were in the past. The film won Best Screenplay at Cannes.


The new film by one of Russia’s most prominent contemporary filmmakers is set in the far northwest of the country, near the border with Finland. On the rocky shore stands the house where Kolia lives with his second wife and young son from a previous marriage. A dispute with the mayor of a nearby town, who wants to purchase the house and surrounding land, is supposed to be handled by a lawyer from Moscow, a childhood friend. Kolia’s determination to resist pressure from the speculator leads to tragedy. We are given a depressing image of the supremacy of modern Russia’s potentates, who are just as cynical and brutal as in the past – only the circumstances are different. The characters have little to hope for in their bleak lives, their destiny prefigured in the shots of the derelict seaport with its boat wrecks and in a whale skeleton protruding from the water. Nevertheless, the film gives over to moments of sarcasm and black humour, through which the screenplay by Oleg Negin and Andrey Zvyagintsev bluntly characterises a decaying system of government.

About the director

Andrey Zvyagintsev

Andrey Zvyagintsev (b. 1964, Novosibirsk, USSR) studied acting at the Novosibirsk Drama School (1984) and also at Moscow’s GITIS (Russian University of Theatre Arts, 1990). As an actor he featured in several stage productions, and he has appeared in episodic roles in TV series and has also been cast in films, e.g. Shirli-Myrli (1995 – KVIFF 1996). He gave his debut as a director in 2003 with the feature film The Return (Vozvrashcheniye), which won the Golden Lion in Venice and was hailed as European Discovery of the Year in 2003. The lead in his next film The Banishment (Izgnanie) won Best Actor in the main competition at Cannes 2007. His subsequent films Elena (2011) and Leviathan (2014) also won awards at Cannes.


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Film Europe s.r.o.
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E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Screenplay: Oleg Negin, Andrey Zvyagintsev
Dir. of Photography: Mikhail Krichman
Music: Philip Glass
Editor: Anna Mass
Producer: Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
Production: Non-Stop Production
Cast: Alexey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovitchenkov, Roman Madyanov
Contact: Pyramide International, Film Europe s.r.o.
Distributor: Film Europe s.r.o.

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