Totalitarian life and unnatural beings become cinema centerpieces

leviathan

by Leonard Heldreth

Two of this month’s films demonstrate the pressures and difficulties of living under rigid or totalitarian systems, and the other two look at unusual events or beings intruding into our everyday worlds.

Leviathan, the fourth film by Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, takes its name from the Book of Job: God asks Job, “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord?”

The Leviathan, a creature like a sea serpent, has enormous power and sometimes is associated with Satan. The film also references Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, a work of political philosophy in which people relinquish individual freedom for the security of a despot who may at first appear benevolent.

The plot of Leviathan, not complex on the surface, possesses aspects of a crime thriller, a political black comedy, an exposé of political corruption, and a commentary on the inevitability of human suffering. Beneath its…..

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