Behemoth (Bei xi mo shou)

Genre: Documentary | Duration: 90 min. | MPAA: N7 | 2016 | Countries: China, France | Subtitles Lithuanian

Originals languages



Liang Zhao


In the Old Testament, the mountains are the domain of a monster named Behemoth; in modern times the vast mining industry has taken the monster’s place. With a violent roar, the mountain spews iron ore and coal with infernal billowing smoke that leaves those working there struggling against fatigue and suffocation. The “monster’s minions” have transformed a mountain paradise into an industrial zone surrounded by ghost towns of brand-new, deserted apartment blocks. Panoramic shots of the changing landscape and industrial activity alternate with silent close-ups of the workers in their shabby quarters or their hospital beds. Inspired by Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, director Liang Zhao shares in voice-over his poetic reflections on China’s search for a paradise, one that has ended up being something a lot more like hell. Could the mythical monster have ever dreamed of this?