Leviathan is an exploration of the different facets of the fishing industry. Its focus is New Bedford, Massachusetts, once the world’s whaling capital and the town from which Herman Melville’s Pequod set sail in Moby Dick (1851). The novel inspired the filmmakers and gave their film its title, since Melville refers to Moby Dick using the Biblical term for a sea monster, Leviathan. The directors shot footage on land and became friends with the fishermen, who invited them to join a fishing expedition. That initial trip set Castaing-Taylor and Paravel on a new course. They made five additional trips out to sea, plunging their cameras into the water, passing them to the fishermen, bringing them close to dead and dying catch, and even strapping them onto the fishermen’s bodies to represent the experience of fishing as directly as possible.
This approach to filmmaking stems from their belief that the majority of documentaries and anthropological and ethnographic films lack a sensory dimension. Castaing-Taylor and Paravel strive to go beyond documentation to convey the sensation of actually being there. With hardly a steady shot, the film vividly evokes the forces that converge in pulling sustenance from the sea, capturing the fishermen’s straining bodies, the salt-bitten metal of their vessel and the sounds of its grinding machinery, and, most of all, the awesome power of the sea itself.
Free admission, upon reservation
On the occasion of the evening projections the MAST.Gallery remains open until 10 pm
Film projection, Proiezione