You are a fish looking up at a rubber-coated creature with a cigarette in its mouth and a machete in its hand as it slices the wings off a stingray.

You are a seagull diving for bloodied sea creatures that have been dismembered and discarded by a commercial fishing vessel.

Sometimes, you are a human. You are standing behind another human as it robotically shucks scallops.

Then you are a fish again, among a mass of others that have just been hauled up from the ocean and dumped on the floor of a huge boat. From where you're lying, you could just as easily be sloshing around in the bowels of a leviathan, whose movements you interpret by the way your fellow bloody fish wash over you, then recede, then wash back over you, then recede again.

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These are some of the things you experience as you watch the new documentary by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, two instructors in Harvard's fittingly named Sensory Ethnography Lab. These people believe that artists, scientists, and academics have relied too heavily on the power of words to convey ethnographic experiences. To compensate, they are building a body of documentary work that relies primarily on images and sounds. In Leviathan, this means there is no voice-over to explain that you are following a fishing crew off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, or to tell you that the disorienting footage you are watching was captured by a bunch of cheap digital cameras that the filmmakers either dangled in the water or attached to helmets, nets, and masts.

Such details are beside the point, which is not to explain, but to make you feel, in your stomach, what it is to exist at the intersection of things like "the commercial fishing industry" and "global capitalism." And feel it you do.