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SPOTLIGHT FILMS: Leviathan

UPDATE: The time has been changed to Sunday, March 29th at 4:30 p.m. 

On Tuesday March 31st Spotlight Films will be presenting Leviathan.

Written and directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena, Apocrypha, The Banishment) and inspired by the story of Marvin Heemeyer of Granby, Colorado,  Leviathan is an application of the brutal parable contained within The Book of Job. The Leviathan, a mythical sea monster of biblical times, becomes a convenient metaphor for a struggle with something much larger than ourselves.

Set on the stunning shores of the Barents Sea, where whales sometime visit, this dark yet accessible journey is about the struggle confronting auto mechanic and all-round handyman Nikolai, aka Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov, tv series Agent, Gulf Stream Under the Iceberg) and his family, pretty and increasingly neglected wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova, Vezuchaya, The Geographer Drank His Globe Away) and his preteen son from another marriage, Roman (Sergey Pokhodaev, Vypusknoy, Six Degrees of Celebration), as they face off against local corrupt, bullying Mayor, Vadim Shelevyat (Roman Madyanov, tv series Mosgav, Iron Ivan) who would dearly love to acquire Kolya’s little slice of paradise on the fjiord.  

Roman admires his dad even while fearing his machismo melodramatic bullying.

After a sneaky, exploitive maneuver, backed by the local clergy, the achievement of Vadim’s goal seems inevitable. In an act of desperation Nicolai enlists the assistance of an old army buddy Dmitriy (Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Prazdnik vzaperti, The Man at the Window), now a hotshot Moscow lawyer who thinks they can still work the system, including pulling up dirt on the ethically deficient mayor. Maybe. (Spoiler alert): Btw, if you think the judge’s darkly comic ruling is highly fictional check out the Pussy Riot show trial ruling.

This film, where Vodka flows as persistently as dope smoke in a Cheech and Chong movie, has resonated well with audiences and critics alike, scoring 99% with Rotten tomatoes, no small feat. It has also been nominated for and won some significant awards, including winning Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film and nominated for same at the Oscars; it also won Best Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Best Screenplay at Cannes. Individual reviews are also quite glowing.

Leviathan will be shown at the Gem theatre at 7:30 pm.

Thanks to Maureen and Marius Paquet of the Gem Theatre, Rotten Tomatoes, Internet Movie Data base (IMDb), and Ken Eisner of The Georgia Straight. Thanks also to our supporters and sponsors.