Andrey Zvyagintsev's Acclaimed Movie Leviathan Premieres at Sofia International Film Festival

Society » CULTURE | March 21, 2015, Saturday // 13:25
Bulgaria: Andrey Zvyagintsev's Acclaimed Movie Leviathan Premieres at Sofia International Film Festival Director Andrey Zvyagintsev at the Cannes International Film Festival Photo: EPA

Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominated movie Leviathan will have an official premiere at Sofia International Film Festival this March.

The young director attracted both critics' and the viewers' attention with his very first production - "The Return" back in 2003 , winning a "Golden Lion" and "Lion of the Future" in Venice, a "Golden Globe" nomination and dozens of international awards.

Leviathan is Zvyagintsev's fourth full-feature film, and so far the most successful one as well.

Andrey Zvyagintsev's work has been critically acclaimed beyond the borders of his homeland, Russia, where it caused bipolar reactions. The film portrays current political processes with a clear reference to the analysis of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes.

Leviathan tells the story of two ordinary people, living near then northern Barents Sea. They own a car repair shop and have just enough money to survive, but soon it might be taken away from them.

The local mayor attempts to tear down the place, thus provoking protagonist Nikolay ( played by Alexei Serebriakov) to go on a quest for justice, the first stop of which is the Russian capital Moscow.

A lawyer from the big city decides to take upon the task of defending the ownership rights of the family, he encounters a number of emblematic characters, including an Orthodox priest.

"The script was very influenced by the landscape'' said Zvyagintsev. ''Everything started from an incident in the States, the fight of an ordinary welder against a powerful industrial company and the administration. This lonely and desperate revolt of the common man struck me, and how authority stands in his way to live. "

After delibration, the director decided to shoot the movie in Russia itself so as to follow a strict line of authenticity. There initially had been an option of taking the set to the US.

''In his essay "Leviathan", Hobbes writes, that in each of us a monster sleeps, and if there is no higher authority to regulate society, it will lead to war between individuals,'' Zvyagintsev added, explaining the inspiration behind the plot. ''Then the state itself becomes a monster that devours the soul. For me, to give up freedom means to sell your soul to the devil. The diligently built alliance between man and the state have been a theme of life in Russia, for a long time. "

Apart from the brilliantly conceived plot, the movie also features exceptional performances by the cast. Alexei Serebryakov plays Kolya, the owner of the car repair shop, and Elena Lyadova portrays his wife Lilia. The Bulgarian audience will also have the chance to see the renowned Vladimir Vdovichenkov, who also starred in the hit TV series Brigada back in 2002.

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Tags: Russia, oscar, nominee, Golden Globe, winner, awards, Andrey Zvyagintsev, movie, film, Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes, Inspiration, Vladimir Vdovichenkov
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