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Leviathan Wins Golden Globe For Best Foreign-Language Film

Writer/producer Aleksandr Rodnyansky (left) and director Andrei Zvyagintsev, winners of Best Foreign Language Film for Leviathan, pose in the press room during the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11.

Russia's Leviathan has won the Golden Globe award for best foreign-language film.

The drama, directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev, puts a modern spin on the Book of Job through the story of a man who struggles against a corrupt mayor.

The Russian government paid for about 35 percent of the film, raising some eyebrows given its dark portrayal of the country and an all-powerful, uncaring state.

The 72nd annual Golden Globes were held on January 11 in Beverly Hills, California.

Actors held up signs on the red carpet defending freedom of expression after the killing of cartoonists at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo last week.

Boyhood, a film that was made over 12 years and portrays a child's growth to adulthood, won three prizes: best drama; best director, for Richard Linklater; and best supporting actress, for Patricia Arquette.

Leviathan is Russia's candidate at the Academy Awards for the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar -- a prize that will be presented next month.

Its producer, Aleksandr Rodnyansky, played down any suggestion that the film was meant as a critique of the Russian government.

He said that the "tragic story of an ordinary man who comes face to face with an indifferent system is absolutely universal."

"The more we think about the fortunate fate of our movie, the more we believe that it doesn't matter whether you are Korean, American, Russian, or French," Rodnyansky told the audience.

Zyagintsev expressed gratitude for the award and said, "We are absolutely happy."

Zvyagintsev has said the movie is in the tradition of great Russian social critics and satirists such as Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Anton Chekhov.

But those are not its only roots.

The director said in a recent interview with Screen magazine that Leviathan's plot was sort of inversely inspired by a 2004 case in the United States in which a man in a dispute with the local authorities used a bulldozer to destroy the town hall and the former mayor's house.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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