It was in the autumn of 2013 that the small fishing village of Teriberka on the Kola Peninsula became location for a large film production. “Leviathan” has received international acclaim and won the category for Best Screenplay at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The Guardian called the film “a new Russian masterpiece” after the premiere in Cannes.
The film is also shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards.
“Leviathan” tells a story of a man who opposes a corrupt mayor of a Russian coastal town when he learns that his house will be demolished. The protagonist turns to his old friend for help but it only brings more trouble upon the main character and his family. It is said to be a dark and brooding film that depicts Russia as a corrupt and cruel society.
“Leviathan” is the first Russian film to win a Golden Globe since Sergei Bondarchuk’s massive dramatization of “War and Peace” in 1969, Moscow Times writes.
In Teriberka people are not directly enthusiastic about the film and its international achievements. “The film shows the village and its people in an one-sidedly negative way”, head of the local administration Tatyana Tribulina says. She thinks that all the people in the village are depicted as alcoholics with no perspectives in life. “The truth is that only ten people out of a labor force of 400 are without jobs”, Severpost writes, citing TASS.
The film’s release in Russia has been continually delayed because it cannot be shown in its current form due to a new law passed last year banning swearing in films and other media. “Leviathan” is now set to be released — with the swear words removed — on Feb. 5, although the film has already been leaked to pirate sites.