Everyday Activist - Shadow World

Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2017 at 10:00 PM

Shadow World

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

America runs on guns and propaganda since it figured out it could, whether in gang wars, civil wars or international ones. The propaganda is so finely tuned that the second anyone points this out, she is automatically a conspiracy theorist. As an activist, the film preaches to the choir in many ways. What spoke to me was that even though I knew intellectually that these arms deals and destabilization of the Middle East and other countries were true, hearing other people talk about it with irrefutable proof, emotionally affected me. Too many people have become wealthy from death. This trend will continue until we choose hold politicians and other people in power accountable for their decisions.

We like to think we live in a democracy. The truth is governments have been bought and sold by corporations and lobby groups, something this film brings up, to the tune of trillions of dollars. A great line in the film comes from a European arms dealer, “The thing about politicians is that they are very much like prostitutes, but only more expensive.” With enough money on the table they will do what they are told. Anytime people take action to organize against this behemoth ideology, they are met with violence in the name of peace, stabilization and democracy. This has happened and continues to happen in South American, African countries and of course in the Middle East.

Since Rob Stewart’s death in January, I’ve been reflecting a lot about activists who choose to speak out against injustice. Shadow World interviewed some fantastic activists, both men and women, from different countries who have suffered for their work and expression including death, death threats and torture. These are far from the only people who need to worry about their lives. Chris Hedges talks candidly about the importance of have good support systems to keep people working on the frontlines of wars from committing suicide. The stress from constantly bearing witness to needless deaths, in his words “f*ucks you up.”

The fascinating aspects of Johan Grimonprez’s work are that he talks about how the media deliberately misdirects people’s attention (Trump tweets anyone?). Yet in some ways, Hollywood brings us closer to the truth. About ten years ago, Nicholas Cage starred in a film about arms dealing called Lord of War. More recently films such as Snowden and War Dogs talk about arms and information, paving the way for people to have more of an open mind when viewing Shadow World. Even with all the facts, figures and footage, the propaganda machine causes knee jerk reactions in people if they haven’t slowly been introduced to these ideas in a palatable way, such as humor and entertainment.

Despite all the corruption among seemingly untouchable players, director, Johan Grimonprez, holds out hope that the world will change. My favorite line is from Chris Hedges, “Hope has two beautiful daughters, Anger and Courage.” I have anger in spades, though my little blog can be seen as a small act of courage. From doing a bit of research I have a new hero just in time for International Women’s Day, Rebecca Solnit, an activist and writer wrote, “Hope is the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand.”

Shadow World will screen on Tuesday March 14th, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Riverpark Church as part of the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival's justREEL series. The conversation leaders will be Dr. Pablo Policzer and Dr. David Jay Bercuson. 

Calgary Showtimes: Shadow World > 


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.