Previously at the ICA - Films
26 Apr 2016
There is a Q&A with Zhao Liang following the screening, hosted by Tony Rayns, filmmaker, critic and festival programmer with a special interest in East Asian cinema.
"An ambitious bid at engaging the visceral potential of the cinema as a means of articulation for an otherwise silenced majority." Sight & Sound
A poetic protest against the destructive social and environmental effects of industrialisation in China.
Zhao Liang’s visually arresting and meditative film takes us to the heart of the Chinese mining industry, highlighting its toxic impact. Sheep farmers are driven from their pastures to make way for mines; sick miners with ruined lungs lie dying in local hospitals. A mountain paradise becomes an industrial wasteland surrounded by ghost towns of brand-new, deserted apartment blocks. In the Old Testament, the mountains are the domain of a monster named Behemoth; in modern times the vast mining industry has taken this monster’s place.
Drawing on Dante’s Inferno, this lyrical yet politically-charged film offers a moving portrait of a modern-day hell.
Tony Rayns is a film critic, commentator, festival programmer and screenwriter. He has written extensively for Sight & Sound, and its predecessor the Monthly Film Bulletin, and previously contributed to Time Out and Melody Maker. One of the world’s leading experts on Asian cinema, he coordinated the Dragons and Tigers competition for Asian films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 1988-2006 and has provided many DVD commentaries and English subtitle translations for films from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Thailand. He has written books about Seijun Suzuki, Wong Kar-wai and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and has been awarded the Foreign Ministry of Japan’s Commendation for services to Japanese cinema.
Behemoth, dir. Zhao Liang, China 2015, 95 mins
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