Byjonathon beattie, writer at
jonathon beattie

Taking the 'fly on the wall' concept to another level Leviathan has surprised and awed critics around the world. Using Go-Pro cameras attached to the ship's workers, various points of the ship itself and also on metal rods (so as to attain a fish's point of view) the documentary is visually astounding.

Highlighting realities, we usually never witness, about the fishing industry, it has a similar impact to the film Our daily bread (another observational documentary focusing upon food production). The fly on the wall style is at times is hallucinatory and surreal and the film is not an easy 87 minutes to endure. It certainly puts the viewer into a strange mindset which leaves one feeling quite disconcerted.

Another aspect was also very intriguing. The anthropological footage of the fishermen was a great insight into a 'fringe community', that again, we would never normally have the opportunity to observe. The film undoubtedly has an environmental message but the passive cinematic style sidesteps a critical message. Instead the viewer is left to make up their own opinions about the nature of modern fishing methods in all its gruesome glory.


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