November 2018

Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Pavel: Leviathan

Up Close: Moving People, Changing Climate

Leviathan turns the cinematic gaze into an immersive, nauseating record of modern industrial fishing. Shot on handheld cameras attached to filmmakers, crew, and infrastructure, Leviathan takes place onboard a groundfish trawler navigating the waters off New Bedford, Massachusetts, the largest commercial fishing hub in the United States. The camera is the water, it is the boat, it is the industry itself, regurgitating incomprehensible quantities of fish in a constant struggle between life and death, replenishment and consumption. A film beyond verbal language, Leviathan features no dialogue: the only human voices heard emit sporadic, disembodied cries amid the constant roars of the sea and the vessel’s engine. Dark and majestic, it takes viewers on an unruly journey beyond conventional temporal and perceptive frames.

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