A Crack in the World: Cinema of Chaos and Transcendence
Dir. Zhao Liang
Colossal in scope . . . Behemoth seems to shudder with the destructive power of invisible, ubiquitous, and cruelly indifferent authority. —New Yorker

Behemoth is a portrait of modern-day China—a nation built mostly on the blood and sweat of poor laborers. Beginning with a mining explosion in Mongolia and ending in a ghost city west of Beijing, political documentarian Zhao Liang’s visionary new film details, in one extraordinary sequence after another, the social and ecological devastation behind an economic miracle that may yet prove illusory. (2015, 95 min, digital)

Part of

A Crack in the World: Cinema of Chaos and Transcendence

What happens when civilization falls apart? YBCA’s Film/Video curator Joel Shepard has put together eleven cinematic visions of what might happen when society breaks down. In films that span the last century, we survey the unraveling of the individual, to that of families and small groups, and finally the total collapse of the entire world. Pay close attention, however: far from wallowing in despair, this series is intended as a compassionate overview of the fragility of human existence, and the innate ability of the human spirit to cope even in the most dire and terrifying of circumstances.


Regular Admission: $10

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YBCA Member: $8

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Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

YBCA Programs in 16-17 are made possible in part by:
The James Irvine Foundation

Additional Funding for YBCA Programs 16-17:
National Endowment for the Arts, Adobe, Abundance Foundation, Gaia Fund, Grosvenor, and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

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Lead Image: Courtesy Grasshopper Film