Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Filmed in the seas off new England (the very seas that inspired Moby Dick) Leviathan is a film that gives the viewer a unique insight into the world of commercial fishing.

Rather than being a conventional documentary, Leviathan immerses the viewer in the mostly nightime world of the fishing vessel. Fish blood and guts, heaving oceans, tattoed arms of fishermen slashing knives through fish, clanking nets, dying fish, tossing waves, ghostly white gulls screaming in the dark of night. The immersion is so effective that you'd be advised not to see the film if you get seasick.

You may also want to avoid the film if you want to continue enjoying eating fish. Although there is no explicit environmental or animal rights message in the film, it is none the less very effective in conveying the brutality of the slaughter of the fish and the implicit toll taken on the ocean.

It's a film that will be remembered long after the closing credits have ended (credits that list not only all the crew members of the boat but all the species of bird and fish that appear).

Leviathan is showing as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival:

2040, 27 June and 1440, 29 June both at Cineworld.

Disclaimer, I have a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and attended a free press screening of this film.

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