EIFF 2016: Shadow World (2016)
No pun intended, writing about Shadow World could be a bit of a minefield. The initial reaction as the end credits roll is one of anger. I wanted to rush home and name and shame everyone involved. But that’s not a good way to do things, not when writing for a website. Or, indeed, writing for any publication that could be seen by more than my own eyes.
This is a documentary. It’s based on the book by Andrew Feinstein, and the main objective is to discuss the profits made in arms deals, and why some major governments have facilitated situations that have been bad for some countries while making other countries tidy sums of money. Everything in this documentary seems to have been well documented, via paper trails, news reports, and witnesses to unfolding events who speak of their incredulity on camera. But I’ll still cover my bets by using the word “allegedly” a lot.
Starting in the era of Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher, everything seems to have springboarded from a special relationship between the USA and the UK that was then, allegedly, used to start dealings with Saudi Arabia. Now isn’t the time to go into all the rest, and I am not a person capable of detailing it properly, but Shadow World moves on from there to show the continuing support and alleged bribery of leading Saudi Arabians, and how that developed a massive business dealing template that would continue throughout the 1980s right up until the here and now. And what better way to keep the money rolling in for all of these people than a manufactured war? And what better manufactured war than one that doesn’t necessarily have an end goal? A war on terror might just fit the bill.
It’s difficult to accept that so many people we trust in positions of power have made so many bad decisions just to keep greasing the wheels of a money-making machine that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. But it’s also impossible to deny the truth when so many people speak up and force us all to look at the slippery tricks, the chain of command, and the repeating patterns.
All of the usual suspects are here (Bush, Blair, Bush Jr, Obama, Cheney). Sadly, it soon becomes clear that there’s simply a baton now being passed from one exiting leader to the next one taking up their space, meaning that we end up stuck in a world summed up best, depressingly enough, by The Who: “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”
But we ARE being fooled again. And again. And again. Allegedly.
Shadow World is showing at 1800 on 24th June in Cineworld, and at 1540 on 26th June in Odeon 4.
DIRECTOR: JOHAN GRIMONPREZ
WRITER: ANDREW FEINSTEIN
STARS: ANDREW FEINSTEIN, DAVID LEIGH, HELEN GARLICK, RICCARDO PRIVITERA, PIERRE SPREY, VIJAY PRASHAD
RUNTIME: 90 MINS APPROX