BEHEMOTH (2015) [Feature]

China (MIFF 2016 , Documentaries)
Director: Zhao Liang

"Remarkable, powerful ... Drawing as much on music and poetry as cinema, Behemoth works like a symphony." – Screen Daily

In remote regions of Inner Mongolia, vast coal mines and iron factories mar formerly grass-covered landscapes. This is Chinese industry in all its terrifying power: a purgatory of controlled explosions, toxic dust and the deep red of liquid ore.

Zhao Liang (Petition, MIFF 2012) is one of China's finest dissident documentarians; in Behemoth, he conducts a moving and visually ambitious examination of the human and environmental cost of economic development. Offering a wealth of symbolic imagery and drawing on passages from Dante's The Divine Comedy – as well as referencing The Salt of the Earth (MIFF 2014) subject Sebastião Salgado's Workers series of photographs – Zhao shows both the netherworld of the mines and the paradise built on their harvest: a gleaming metropolis devoid of human inhabitants.

Winner of the Green Drop and SIGNIS awards at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival Golden Firebird Award.

"An impressively self-shot poetic exercise in controlled righteous outrage." – Variety

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