Bedford, Massachusetts, was once the whaling capital of the world. It's still a town that depends on the sea, with a thriving port that launches more than 500 fishing ships a month. Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, filmmakers from the Harvard University Sensory Ethnography Lab, joined one of these ships to create Leviathan,a 90-minute visual observation of the fishing industry. The film has been classified as a documentary although it completely ignores the contemporary form of talking head interviews, voice-over narration, and wide-angle shots. Instead, cameras were attached to boom mikes and the filmmakers themselves to immerse the viewer in the ecosystem of the 80-foot groundfishing boat. What emerges from their beautiful, sometimes jarring, footage is something much more involved than a documentary; it is a challenge to look at the human relationship with nature in a new way. Leviathan screens at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (May 17 through 19) at the Moore Auditorium on Webster University's campus as part of the Webster Film Series (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries). Admission is $5 to $6.
May 17-19, 2013