Zhao Liang's recent film Behemoth (beixi moshou) is a cinematic meditation on the Anthropocene—the current geological epoch marking 'a new phase in the history of the Earth, when natural forces and human forces become intertwined, so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other.' Composed from documentary footage of natural and human life in their devastated forms, Behemoth offers a dystopian view of our present reality based on a script written by Zhao Liang that is loosely adapted from Dante's Divine Comedy. In an interview I conducted with the director via the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat this past July, taking a studied cynical tone, he described his art as a technique of making the ugly beautiful: 'Most of the time, I take some ugly affair and make it "look beautiful" on film. But isn't our world often packaged to appear beautiful in this way, especially politics?'
|Made in China
|Published - 2016