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Shadow World Review

By David Kempler

Shadows of Doubt

Making its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, the documentary "Shadow World" would have to be one of the contenders to grab the best documentary award there. Based on the bestselling book by author, journalist and renowned global arms expert Andrew Feinstein, Johan Grimonprez's film is shocking, enlightening, and depressing.

The shadow world refers to the corruption behind the global weapons trade and how it is responsible for the policies of many governments, including those of the United States. We have all heard the allegations that corporations run everything. Here the power is presented as coming from those that sell weaponry world-wide and Grimonprez makes a strong case for the argument.


Obviously, the arms dealers aren't doing this within a vacuum by themselves. The lines drawn here interconnect the arms dealers with politicians in the highest echelons of government, industry executives, and military and intelligence officials. What lies beneath all of it is an insatiable greed that makes it necessary to create wars when there are no reasons that justify them. If a million people die as a result, oh well. It's collateral damage shrouded in secrecy.

There are interviews with whistleblowers, military and ex-military, industry bigwigs, prosecutors, and reporters that have exposed some of the scandals. The conclusion one can't help but take away after hearing all of the evidence is that the most powerful manipulate the media in order to create and maintain an endless feeling of fear among the public. This in turn enables governments to proceed in making war and getting the average guy and gal to think that there is no choice but to go to war.

The most damning evidence comes from reporters in England who have exposed some of these facts, only to see their own government leaders squash the investigations, while claiming there's nothing to see here. The most chilling words come from a major international arms dealer, who tells us that the whole process of all of this corruption makes the mafia seem like good little boys. See "Shadow World" even though it will upset you. Maybe if enough see it, it will make a difference, but deep down I know it won't.

What did you think?

Movie title Shadow Land
Release year 2016
MPAA Rating NR
Our rating
Summary Chilling documentary explains that the reasons for all wars are not what you think.
View all articles by David Kempler
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