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Based on Andrew Feinstein’s globally acclaimed book, Shadow World reveals the shocking realities of the global arms trade.
- Independent Lens
- Premiere Date
- November 20, 2017
- 90 minutes
- Funding Initiative
- Series and Special Projects
Belgian artist and filmmaker Johan Grimonprez achieved international acclaim with his documentary film dial H-I-S-T-OR-Y (1997), a collaboration with author Don DeLillo that tells the story of air hijackings since the 1970s and how these changed news reporting. In 2009, Grimonprez made Double Take, which targets the global rise of… Show more "fear-as-commodity." It premiered at Sundance and Berlin, and traveled the international film festival circuit, winning several Best Director awards, the Black Pearl Award in Abu Dhabi and the New Media Grand Prize in LA. His film and curatorial projects have been exhibited at museums worldwide, including the Hammer Museum (LA), Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich) and MoMA (NY). His works are part of the permanent collections of numerous major museums, including the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the Kanazawa Art Museum (Japan) and Tate Modern (London). In 2011, Hatje Cantz Verlag published a reader on Grimonprez's work entitled It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards, with contributions by Jodi Dean, Thomas Elsaesser, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Slavoj Žižek. Grimonprez divides his time between Brussels and New York, where he now lectures at the School of Visual Arts. In 2012, Cinema Scope named him one of the "Best 50 Filmmakers Under 50” in the world. Show less
Shadow World reveals the shocking realities of the global arms trade – the only business that counts its profits in billions and its losses in human lives. Based on Corruption Watch UK founder Andrew Feinstein’s globally acclaimed book The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, the film reveals how the international trade in weapons – with the complicity of governments and intelligence agencies, investigative and prosecutorial bodies, weapons manufacturers, dealers and agents – fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracy and creates widespread suffering.
The film unravels a number of the world’s largest and most corrupt arms deals through those involved in perpetrating and investigating them. It illustrates why this trade accounts for almost 40% of all corruption in global trade, and how it operates in a parallel legal universe, in which the national security elite who drive it are seldom prosecuted for their often illegal actions. Shadow World posits alternatives through the experience of a peace activist and war correspondent, as well as through the voice of Eduardo Galeano who contributed selections from his stories for the film. In shedding light on how our realities are being constructed, the film offers a way for audiences to see through this horror, in the hopes of creating a better future.