Cannes Screenplay Winner 'Leviathan' Gets Russian Release


Andrey Zvyagintsev’s drama has been called a veiled attack on Vladimir Putin’s Russia

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan, winner of the best screenplay honor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is finally getting a release in Russia.

A Company Russia, in cooperation with 20th Century Fox Russia, will bow the film wide in the territory.

A local release was long in doubt for Leviathan. The drama, a retelling of the biblical story of Job set in modern-day Russia, had been read by many as an allegorical attack on Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Russia's minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky snubbed the Cannes premiere of the film, telling official news agency RIA Novosti that he "did not like it.”

Zvyagintsev’s script, with its abundant profanity, also threatened to fall foul of Russia’s new anti-obscenity laws, passed this summer. But last month, the Russian culture ministry finally issued an exhibition license for Leviathan.

The film has been an international sales hit, with Pyramid International closing deals for more than 40 territories after Leviathan’s Cannes debut.

Sony Pictures Classics will distribute the film in the United States.

Twitter: @sroxborough

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