Behemoth ★★★

Zhao’s poetics overlay images of a Mongolian mining operation, threatening pretentiousness but also making it obvious that mere reportage would be an inadequate accompaniment to these vistas of sublime destruction, both human and environmental. Humanity is posited as fragile, yet it is also responsible for the leviathan that is capitalism, as the presence of the sheep reminds us. The moment in viewing this slow-paced documentary where awe shifts into mild boredom probably makes Zhao’s point the best. When faced with hell on earth, just how is one supposed to respond anyhow?