Venice 2015 – In Competition – Winner – Green Drop Award; Winner – SIGNIS Award
With camera in tow, filmmaker Zhao Liang travels through the prairies of Mongolia’s vast plateau. Unfolding before his eyes are the signs of controversial upheaval due to an aggressive modern economy. Heavenly green grasslands are being covered by the gloomy dust of a growing mining industry. Confronted with the ash and infernal din of incessant mining, herdsmen and their families have no choice but to move away as grazing meadows dwindle. Day and night, miners are busy picking out coals from mountains of rocks. In nearby ironworks, men bake in the scorching heat like the condemned in “Inferno.” In a sort of “Purgatorio,” sufferers of work-related illnesses await death in hospital. A genuine “Paradiso” has been destroyed in exchange for an urban mirage, the empty new buildings of modern ghost town Ordos.
BEHEMOTH travels between documentary and narrative, stark truth and allegory, dream and reality. Filmed in breathtaking 4K by Zhao Liang himself, BEHEMOTH is a feast of images, sounds and music, inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy. From the acclaimed director of CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (Festival of 3 Continents 2007 – Best Film) and PETITION (Cannes Special Screenings 2009). Produced by INA in co-production with ARTE France.