Now THIS is a film!
What we have here is a documentary made with an artist’s sensibility (I first saw the director Johan Grimonprez’s work in a gallery in Hamburg) and it is absolutely the most visceral and impactful of the films I’ve watched this month, or maybe this year.
Shadow World takes an extremely sobering look at the way world affairs are run by the global arms trade. It shows how the ruthless pursuit of self interest by a few - fuelled by greed - has led to the state of perpetual war we now find ourselves in.
All the usual suspects - Thatcher, Reagan, Bush, Blair, Netanyahu, a supporting cast of Saudi princes and generals - are here, but they are shown to be merely the public facing arm (or heavily bribed clients) of corporations like BAE, Halliburton and Lockheed Martin, who do everything they can to ensure war machines around the world keep running. Conflict and bloodshed, after all, are good for business.
It is further confirmation that if evil has a face it looks a lot like Rumsfeld, Rove and Cheney, but the film also pulls no punches in showing Obama’s duplicitous role as ambassador for the military industrial complex (was there ever a less deserving recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize?). One by one brave journalists, retired military officials and even a few non-corrupt politicians line up to tell the truth in an extraordinary indictment of the international political system.
Yet somehow amidst all this madness there is also space for the alternative - a world built on love and mutual respect. The film ends with amazing archive scenes of soldiers leaving the trenches to embrace in no mans land - people don’t start wars, politicians (and their paymasters) do.
If I could only recommend one film from this challenge so far it would be this one - essential viewing.
How: Vimeo On Demand $3.99
#30docs30days #shadowworldfilm #johangrimonprez