Director: ZHAO LIANG

95 mins, China, 2015, Subtitled, Digital

This film was released 19th August 2016, and is no longer screening.

Exclusively at the IFI.

★★★★★ Financial Times

Named after the Biblical monster, Zhao Liang’s Behemoth refers
 to a contemporary horror: the industrialisation of Inner Mongolia, a vast region where coal and mineral extraction is performed on an overwhelming scale, necessitating a steady stream 
of migrant Chinese workers. Adopting an observational approach, Liang juxtaposes stunningly achieved long-takes of the denuded landscape with more intimate studies of the repetitious minutiae of the workers’ lives, the personal impact revealed
in sequences dealing with the widespread respiratory illnesses suffered by the workers.

Every once in a while, Liang punctuates this rhythm with a recurring staged 
motif of a naked figure curled up in the foreground of the devastated landscapes, artistic interludes which serve as welcome moments of reflection amid the unimaginably vast destruction of ecology in the region. (Notes by David O’Mahony.)

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