Coming to theatres today, Friday, October 14: SHADOW WORLD
Johan Grimonprez’s look at the influence of the global arms trade made its debut at Tribeca this Spring. Its fest circuit has also included Edinburgh, San Francisco, Encounters, Durban, Guanajuato, New Zealand, Dokufest Kosovo, and Vancouver.
Taking a big picture view of global politics, Grimonprez makes the audacious claim that politics is all about war, with the world’s superpowers financially invested in keeping us in perpetual conflict, regardless of the consequences. Adapted from the 2011 book of the same name by Andrew Feinstein, the film is grist for the conspiracy theory mill, but, despite some messiness and early missteps, not without chillingly convincing arguments. The starting point for this clarion call to constant war comes in the 1980s with – of course – hawkish Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and the rise of Saudi Arabia’s influence on geopolitical affairs, but continues down the line through George W Bush’s Halliburton-benefitting war on terror and Obama’s embrace of drone strikes. It’s a dense and challenging project, and though overstating its case at times, Grimonprez’s film remains thought-provoking throughout.