The Monster Is Loose: Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan as a Parable of Putin’s Russia?

A broken Kolya (Aleksei Serebryanov) reflects on his life.
A broken Kolya (Aleksei Serebryanov) reflects on his life.

Russian cinema has always commanded international respect, even when things were frosty between the Soviet Union and the ‘West.’ The same still holds true for the modern arthouse movies from the country. Since the early 2000s, Andrei Zvyagintsev has become one of the more distinguished Russian directors. Particularly because of the recent crisis between his homeland, Ukraine, and the NATO, Zvyagintsev’s fourth feature, Leviathan, has seen a lot of politically-motivated controversy coming its way. The question is, then, how good is the movie and how much of an accurate portrait of today’s Russia does it provide?

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