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Behemoth

Behemoth

Zhao Liang, 95 min.

2015

Behemoth

Mirrors and prisms undermine the sublime images of landscapes around a Chinese iron mine in an elegiac defense for those who work there.

Apocalyptic landscapes that at first glance look like scenes from another planet turn out to be the entrance to a gigantic iron mine stretching far into the ground. Down in the noisy and soot-black depths the raw materials are mined and subsequently driven away to a mill and melted down to cables in a heavy-industrial circuit of almost mythical proportions. Any notion of eternity, however, is punctured by the visionary filmmaker Zhao Liang, who through a subtle use of mirrors and prisms (and well-placed quotes by Dante) undermines the sublime subjects in an elegiac defence of the people who toil their way out of the mines. 'The fruit of our suffering is borne away to build the paradise of our dreams', in this case the deserted ghost towns of which there are several hundred in China, and which have cost hundreds of thousands of workers' lives and the health of several millions. 'Behemoth' was recevied as a major work at this year's Venice Biennale.

Director: Zhao Liang
Original Title: Bei Xi Mo Shou
Year: 2015
Running time: 95 min
Language: English subtitles
Tags: Curated by Olafur Eliasson Art
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Producer: Sylvie Blum
Production Company: Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA)
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