Under the Shadow ★★★★½

During the Iran-Iraq War, approximately a million people were killed, half of whom were civilians. Under the BP/CIA-installed reign of the Shah, Iran was a favorite client state of the US and its allies. After the revolution, Iran became isolated, while Iraq had the backing of the United States, France and the Soviet Union, all of whom helped to fund the war and provide Iraq with the necessary resources to fight it, including US approval and logistical support for Saddam Hussein's use of sarin and mustard gas, backing that was only rescinded once Saddam started acting on the belief it extended to other neighbors who were on better terms with us than Iran.

It has been United States policy to keep Iran isolated ever since. Even now, our entire plan for 'Middle East Peace' involves a Saudi-Israeli-Egyptian alliance against Iran and many of its trading partners even as Iran has in recent years voted for moderate governments who seek greater rapprochement with the world community.

There can be no understating how traumatic this war was and still continues to be to this day.

Under The Shadow is a terrifying look at life inside a civilization in the grip of a war waged seemingly without end and a theocracy frightened of its own fragility offering itself as the only protection against total destruction.

Emptied by bombing and missile campaigns the city becomes as a ghost, full of damaged homes abandoned by humans and inhabited now by the winds which flow within and without and those who dwell within them, drawn to what is missing, what once was present.

The scariest thing in this movie is the sound of the winds howling through the streets, whooshing as they wrap themselves around buildings, louder now that there is less noise of activity to dampen and distract. How daily life can be taken from you, how your house and family once ruptured by forces from without can start to collapse from within.

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