LEVIATHAN (Russian: Левиафан) is a Russian drama film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return, Elena), starring Alexey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Roman Madyanov, and Vladimir Vdovitchenkov. It was competed for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin won the award for Best Screenplay.
The screenplay is a modern reworking of the Book of Job, which is a gripping parable of class, faith and corruption, centering on a land dispute between a small-time mechanic and his local authorities that reaps unimaginable consequences.
Kolia (Alexey Serebryakov) lives in a coastal village near the Barents Sea in Northern Russia, running an auto-repair shop from the garage of his childhood home, shared with young wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and his teenage son from a previous marriage. The family’s world is under threat: Vadim Sergeyich (Roman Madyanov), the imperious town Mayor, has slapped a compulsory acquisition order on Kolia’s prime land, earmarking the site for a development of undetermined but dubious funding (and offering risible, token compensation). To Sergeyich’s great surprise, Kolia enlists the help of ex-army friend Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovitchenkov), now a hotshot lawyer from Moscow. Dmitri has uncovered some highly incriminating evidence that he believes will force the Mayor to back down, even if he has secrets of his own. Soon tempers and passions are inflamed, events spiral out of control, and lives are placed at stake.