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Leviathan movie inspired by Heemeyer dozer rampage

Over 10 years after shaking Granby to its core, Marvin Heemeyer and his story is stirring up controversy, though surprisingly in ways and places one might not expect.

The controversy surrounds a foreign film called “Leviathan.” Set on Russia’s Arctic coast near the Finnish boarder, Leviathan is the story of one simple small town man’s struggle against corrupt bureaucrats. Writers Oleg Negin and Andrey Zvyagintsev took inspiration from the 2004 incident in Granby as well as from the biblical story of Job while creating their art.

The film is not a direct reimagining of the Marvin Heemeyer incident and takes a sympathetic view of its main character, inspired in part by Marvin Heemeyer’s story. Leviathan details the tribulations of main character Kolya, who begins feuding with corrupt local officials who look to seize his property.

It is currently nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar at the Academy Awards and has sparked controversy in Russia where it is seen as both anti-Russian and anti-Putin. The film has also won few friends in the Russian Orthodox Church for its depiction of a corrupt Orthodox priest who aids town officials.

The film is set for release on Feb. 5 but a pirated version has already been released online. According to reports from the New York Times the film was released in one theater in St. Petersburg last year to ensure the film would be considered for this year’s Oscars.


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